The role of fatigue, positive affect and negative affect in the reporting of quality of life in a group of radiation oncology patients

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Wryobeck, John M.
Nicholas, Donald R.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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The use of quality of life instruments to evaluate the effect of cancer and its treatment on individuals has increased but the process by which the patient comes to make these quality of life evaluations has not been addressed. Earlier studies have shown the reporting of physical symptoms and the evaluation of one's health to be related to negative affect. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the relationship between negative affect and the evaluation of ones health would remain the same in a group of cancer patients, when a major disease and treatment symptom, fatigue was controlled for. The current study found no relationship between negative affect and the evaluation of health once fatigue was controlled for. Negative affect and fatigue were found to be moderately correlated and fatigue accounted for a large proportion of the variance in the quality of life domains of physical, functional and emotional well-being. Both empirical and theoretical issues are discussed.