Jan 1, 1984

Anxiety and cancer treatment: response to stressful radiotherapy

Health Psychology : Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Barbara L AndersenH H Tewfik


Previous research with individuals undergoing surgery or diagnostic procedures provided a conceptual framework for analysis of radiation therapy, a common form of cancer treatment. The present investigation was designed to document the magnitude of anxiety patients experience in response to one particularly stressful form of radiation treatment. In addition, the change in anxiety responses with repeated exposures and individual differences among patients that may affect their adjustment were explored. In Part 1, gynecologic cancer patients receiving their first internal radiotherapy application were studied. As the time for treatment neared, subjective and physiologic indicants of anxiety and distress among the patients significantly increased. By 24 hours post-treatment, anxiety for all patients remained elevated. These post-treatment data are convergent with other investigations of post-treatment distress among cancer patients, but contrast with data obtained from those receiving treatment for benign conditions. A subset of the women who required two applications of radiotherapy participated in Part 2. These patients continued to respond negatively during the second treatment. Data on individual differences in anxiety respons...Continue Reading

  • References21
  • Citations4


  • References21
  • Citations4


Mentioned in this Paper

Surface Radiotherapy
Female Genital Diseases
Genital Neoplasms, Female
Radiation Oncology Specialty
Diagnostic Procedure
Anxiety Disorders
Malignant Female Reproductive System Neoplasm

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