The Role of Social Comparisons in Coping and Quality of Life Following a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01176526
First received: August 5, 2010
Last updated: March 14, 2014
Last verified: January 2014
  Purpose

Social comparisons may function as a coping strategy, but their role in coping and quality of life has not been well characterized. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationships between cognitive appraisals; coping strategies; social comparisons; and quality of life among men with prostate cancer. The conceptual framework for this study is drawn from Festinger s Social Comparison Theory, Lazarus and Folkman s Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, and Mishel s Uncertainty in Illness Theory. A cancer diagnosis is accompanied by uncertainty about how cancer will affect one s life. Theory and empirical data suggest that in conditions of uncertainty, coping affects adjustment to a condition. Social comparisons have been postulated to be more prevalent in uncertain situations. Because little is known about how social comparisons operate, participants in this study will be recruited exclusively from prostate cancer support groups. Support groups provide a context in which individuals are likely to make social comparisons and to be cognizant of these comparisons. Prostate cancer provides a model of a common, chronic condition with complex etiology. Prostate cancer treatment may cause sexual, urinary, and bowel side effects, which may affect patients quality of life and elicit attempts to cope. One way of managing the prostate cancer experience may be to compare oneself to others who are doing better or worse than oneself on relevant dimensions. The interpretation of social comparisons may positively or negatively affect one s perceived quality of life. There have been no studies among prostate cancer patients that have quantitatively measured the use of social comparisons. There is also a paucity of research in this population regarding the predictors of coping strategies and the predictors of quality of life across multiple domains. This study will use a cross-sectional, mixed methods survey to investigate relationships between cognitive appraisals, coping, and quality of life and to qualitatively explore social comparisons among men with prostate cancer. Participants may complete the survey on paper or online. The primary outcomes are the use of coping strategies, including social comparisons, and quality of life. Individuals with a personal or family history of prostate cancer are currently seen by genetic counselors as part of research studies investigating the genetic basis of prostate cancer. If relationships are demonstrated between the social comparisons and quality of life, genetic counselors may want to assess patients social comparisons to evaluate how patients are coping with their condition.


Condition
Prostate Cancer

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Retrospective
Official Title: The Role of Social Comparisons in Coping and Quality of Life Following a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Perceived Quality of Life

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Use of various coping strategies
  • Use of Social ComparisonsUse of Various Coping Strategies

Enrollment: 196
Study Start Date: July 2010
Detailed Description:

Social comparisons may function as a coping strategy, but their role in coping and quality of life has not been well characterized. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationships between cognitive appraisals; coping strategies; social comparisons; and quality of life among men with prostate cancer. The conceptual framework for this study is drawn from Festinger s Social Comparison Theory, Lazarus and Folkman s Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, and Mishel s Uncertainty in Illness Theory. A cancer diagnosis is accompanied by uncertainty about how cancer will affect one s life. Theory and empirical data suggest that in conditions of uncertainty, coping affects adjustment to a condition. Social comparisons have been postulated to be more prevalent in uncertain situations. Because little is known about how social comparisons operate, participants in this study will be recruited exclusively from prostate cancer support groups. Support groups provide a context in which individuals are likely to make social comparisons and to be cognizant of these comparisons. Prostate cancer provides a model of a common, chronic condition with complex etiology. Prostate cancer treatment may cause sexual, urinary, and bowel side effects, which may affect patients quality of life and elicit attempts to cope. One way of managing the prostate cancer experience may be to compare oneself to others who are doing better or worse than oneself on relevant dimensions. The interpretation of social comparisons may positively or negatively affect one s perceived quality of life. There have been no studies among prostate cancer patients that have quantitatively measured the use of social comparisons. There is also a paucity of research in this population regarding the predictors of coping strategies and the predictors of quality of life across multiple domains. This study will use a cross-sectional, mixed methods survey to investigate relationships between cognitive appraisals, coping, and quality of life and to qualitatively explore social comparisons among men with prostate cancer. Participants may complete the survey on paper or online. The primary outcomes are the use of coping strategies, including social comparisons, and quality of life. Individuals with a personal or family history of prostate cancer are currently seen by genetic counselors as part of research studies investigating the genetic basis of prostate cancer. If relationships are demonstrated between the social comparisons and quality of life, genetic counselors may want to assess patients social comparisons to evaluate how patients are coping with their condition.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria
  • INCLUSION CRITERIA:
  • Under 70 years old (the mean age of diagnosis for prostate cancer)
  • Diagnosed between ages 18 and 70 with localized prostate cancer of stage T1b, T1c, or T2

EXCLUSION CRITERIA:

- History of another primary cancer other than a skin cancer that was not melanoma

  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01176526

Locations
United States, Maryland
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Barbara B Biesecker National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
  More Information

Publications:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01176526     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 999910172, 10-HG-N172
Study First Received: August 5, 2010
Last Updated: March 14, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Coping
Quality of Life
Prostate Cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Prostatic Neoplasms
Genital Neoplasms, Male
Urogenital Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Neoplasms
Genital Diseases, Male
Prostatic Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on April 20, 2014