Many advanced cancer patients receive intensive treatment near the end of life (EOL). Intensive treatment near the EOL is often associated with worse outcomes, such as worse quality of life (QOL), greater distress in patients and caregivers, and higher health care costs. For cancers typically unresponsive to chemotherapy such as lung and gastro-intestinal (GI), the side effects of intensive treatment are endured without increasing survival time. To date, research on EOL care in advanced cancer patients has focused on patient prognostic understanding, physician communication, and patient distress. These factors do not fully explain why many patients receive intensive treatment near the EOL when there is no hope for cure. Hence, there is a need to better understand the factors that influence EOL treatment in order to improve patient and caregiver outcomes. Self-Regulation Theory (SRT) provides a framework that may help explain motivations and care decisions in this population. This study had two aims: 1) to examine the associations between EOL clinical encounters (i.e., EOL conversations with a physician) and treatment intensity in advanced cancer patients near the EOL; and 2) to examine the associations between important SRT constructs (i.e., goal flexibility, hope, and optimism) and treatment intensity in advanced cancer patients near the EOL. A sample of 76 advanced lung and GI cancer patients was recruited from Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. Hope predicted receiving chemotherapy closer to death (β = -.41, t (66) = -2.31, p = .025), indicating more intensive treatment near EOL. Other predictor variables were not significantly associated with intensive treatment. Implications and methodological limitations are discussed.
|Advisor:||Rand, Kevin L.|
|Commitee:||Mosher, Catherine E., Stewart, Jesse C.|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Nursing, Personality psychology, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Advanced cancer, End of life, Goal flexibility, Hope, Optimism, Treatment|
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