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Personality Trait and Quality of Life in Colorectal Cancer Survivors

Shiow-Ching Shun
Fei-Hsiu Hsiao
Yeur-Hur Lai
Jin-Tung Liang
Kun-Huei Yeh
John Huang
ONF 2011, 38(3), E221-E228 DOI: 10.1188/11.ONF.E221-E228

Purpose/Objectives: To explore the association between quality of life (QOL) and type D personality, which is characterized by the traits of negative affectivity and social inhibition, and to further identify impacts of these traits after controlling for biophysical and psychological factors in colorectal cancer survivors.

Design: Cross-sectional and correlational.

Setting: Oncology and surgical outpatient clinics of a medical center in Taiwan.

Sample: 124 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer who had completed active treatment.

Methods: Data were collected using a set of structured questionnaires to explore type D personality, biophysical and psychological factors, and QOL. Their associations were verified with Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman's rho correlation. Significant factors associated with QOL were identified with generalized estimating equations.

Main Research Variables: Type D personality and QOL.

Findings: Patients with type D personality experienced higher physical and psychological distress than those with non-type D personality. Social inhibition remained an important factor leading to impairment in the mental component of QOL after controlling for other associated factors. Negative affectivity was associated with fatigue intensity and interference of fatigue with life activities.

Conclusions: Personality trait was found to be an important factor associated with QOL. The trait of social inhibition was a significant factor influencing mental aspects of QOL, whereas negative affectivity was associated with fatigue.

Implications for Nursing: Assessing patients' personality, including negative affectivity and social inhibition, could help nurses to develop supportive groups or social networks for these patients and thereby improve QOL for cancer survivors.

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