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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • oncology;
  • optimism;
  • anxiety;
  • depression;
  • quality of life

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between optimism and anxiety, depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). A further aim was to investigate the predictive value of optimism for anxiety, depression and HRQOL, quantified with and without controlling the corresponding base level.

Methods: A total of 427 urogenital cancer patients were asked to complete the Life Orientation Test (LOT), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the health survey SF-8 during their stay in the hospital (T1), two weeks later (T2) and three months later.

Results: Finally, 275 patients (64.4%) completed all questionnaires. Optimism at T1 was significantly associated with anxiety (r=−0.35), depression (r=−0.41) and HRQOL (physical: r=0.29; mental: r=0.27) and can predict outcome variables three months later. After controlling for the base levels of anxiety, depression and HRQOL, the predictive value of optimism remained significant but small. The incrementally variance explained by the LOT varied between 2.1% in anxiety and 8.2% in physical HRQOL.

Conclusion: Especially patients with a low level of optimism and a high level of pessimism are at risk for higher levels of anxiety and depression in addition to lowered HRQOL. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.