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Background: We investigated the determinants of trajectories of physical symptoms related to lung cancer (a quality of life [QOL] aspect) and self-efficacy among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It was hypothesized that gender and family cancer history in first-degree relatives would have synergistic effects on QOL-lung cancer specific symptoms and self-efficacy. Women with family cancer history were expected to be at risk of poorer adjustment. Methods: Quantitative, longitudinal design was applied. Participants provided their responses at 3–4 days after surgery, 1-month follow-up, and 4-month follow-up. We recruited 102 in-patients (men: 51%) with NSCLC who underwent surgery aimed at removing a lung tumor. Self-report data were collected with QLQ-LC13 and a scale for self-efficacy for managing illness. Results: Mixed-models analysis indicated that trajectories of physical quality of life (symptoms of lung cancer) as well as self-efficacy were unfavorable among women with family cancer history. Conclusions: Among NSCLC patients, gender and family cancer history may be considered basic screening criteria for identifying groups of patients at risk for poorer physical QOL (higher level of physical symptoms related to lung cancer) and lower incline of self-efficacy after cancer surgery.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access