Clinical research
Emotional reactivity, coping style and cancer trauma symptoms
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Submission date: 2010-12-07
Final revision date: 2011-01-12
Acceptance date: 2011-01-31
Online publication date: 2013-02-18
Publication date: 2014-02-20
Arch Med Sci 2014;10(1):110–116
Introduction: This article studies the relationship between emotional reactivity and coping style on the one hand and intensity of symptoms of trauma in adult patients with cancer on the other hand.
Material and methods: The study was conducted on 150 patients, 55 women and 95 men, hospitalized for diagnosed cancer. Temperament was assessed with the Formal Characteristics of Behaviour – Temperament Inventory (FCB-TI). Coping style was assessed with the Polish version of the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (Mini-MAC). Intensity of intrusion/hyperarousal and avoidance/numbing was assessed with the Factorial Version Inventory (PTSD), a quantitative measure of trauma-related symptoms.
Results: The outcomes of this study suggest that individual coping style is what determines the intensity of trauma-related symptoms most strongly. Destructive coping style accounts for 49% of the variance of symptom intensity and emotional reactivity accounts for 6%. Combined, destructive coping style and emotional reactivity account for 55% of the variance of general post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Conclusions: Destructive coping style (more important determinant of trauma symptoms) and high emotional reactivity as one of temperament traits are conducive to intensification of cancer trauma symptoms in adult patients. Our findings suggest that constructive coping style and low emotional reactivity may act as a specific protector against cancer trauma symptoms in adults.