The nature and correlates of change in depressive symptoms with cancer diagnosis: Reaction and adaptation

Frank Infurna, Denis Gerstorf, Nilam Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Major life events trigger change processes in mental health. We examined how depressive symptoms change in conjunction with cancer diagnosis during adulthood and old age, and whether sociodemographic variables, cognitive and health resources, and cancer-specific mortality risks moderate eventrelated reaction and adaptation. Specifically, we applied multiphase growth models to prospective longitudinal data from 2,848 participants (age at diagnosis: M = 69, SD = 9.91; 46% women) in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) who reported receiving a cancer diagnosis while enrolled in the study. On average, individuals experienced a significant increase in depressive symptoms within 2 years of cancer diagnosis, still-elevated levels 2 years postdiagnosis, and smaller increases in depressive symptoms postdiagnosis relative to the increases observed prediagnosis. Better memory and lower cancer-specific mortality risks were protective against increases in depressive symptoms within 2 years of diagnosis and were associated with reporting fewer depressive symptoms 2 years postdiagnosis. Findings suggest that diagnosis-related changes in depressive symptoms are typically characterized by a multiphase pattern, but tremendous between-person differences also emerged within each phase. Follow-up analyses comparing a matched group (N = 2,272) who did not experience cancer provided an additional layer of evidence supporting our inferences. Results indicate that, on average, people adapt and adjust to the challenges accompanying a cancer diagnosis, and illustrate the utility of using natural experiments such as major life events as a paradigm for studying developmental change processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-401
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and Aging
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Depression
Neoplasms
Mortality
Retirement
Health Resources
Life Change Events
Women's Health
Mental Health
Research Design
Growth

Keywords

  • Adulthood and old age
  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Health and Retirement Study
  • Reaction and adaptation to major life events
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

The nature and correlates of change in depressive symptoms with cancer diagnosis : Reaction and adaptation. / Infurna, Frank; Gerstorf, Denis; Ram, Nilam.

In: Psychology and Aging, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2013, p. 386-401.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c319dead41aa4577ab09606540bc4e05,
title = "The nature and correlates of change in depressive symptoms with cancer diagnosis: Reaction and adaptation",
abstract = "Major life events trigger change processes in mental health. We examined how depressive symptoms change in conjunction with cancer diagnosis during adulthood and old age, and whether sociodemographic variables, cognitive and health resources, and cancer-specific mortality risks moderate eventrelated reaction and adaptation. Specifically, we applied multiphase growth models to prospective longitudinal data from 2,848 participants (age at diagnosis: M = 69, SD = 9.91; 46{\%} women) in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) who reported receiving a cancer diagnosis while enrolled in the study. On average, individuals experienced a significant increase in depressive symptoms within 2 years of cancer diagnosis, still-elevated levels 2 years postdiagnosis, and smaller increases in depressive symptoms postdiagnosis relative to the increases observed prediagnosis. Better memory and lower cancer-specific mortality risks were protective against increases in depressive symptoms within 2 years of diagnosis and were associated with reporting fewer depressive symptoms 2 years postdiagnosis. Findings suggest that diagnosis-related changes in depressive symptoms are typically characterized by a multiphase pattern, but tremendous between-person differences also emerged within each phase. Follow-up analyses comparing a matched group (N = 2,272) who did not experience cancer provided an additional layer of evidence supporting our inferences. Results indicate that, on average, people adapt and adjust to the challenges accompanying a cancer diagnosis, and illustrate the utility of using natural experiments such as major life events as a paradigm for studying developmental change processes.",
keywords = "Adulthood and old age, Cancer diagnosis, Health and Retirement Study, Reaction and adaptation to major life events, Subjective well-being",
author = "Frank Infurna and Denis Gerstorf and Nilam Ram",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1037/a0029775",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "28",
pages = "386--401",
journal = "Psychology and Aging",
issn = "0882-7974",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The nature and correlates of change in depressive symptoms with cancer diagnosis

T2 - Reaction and adaptation

AU - Infurna, Frank

AU - Gerstorf, Denis

AU - Ram, Nilam

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Major life events trigger change processes in mental health. We examined how depressive symptoms change in conjunction with cancer diagnosis during adulthood and old age, and whether sociodemographic variables, cognitive and health resources, and cancer-specific mortality risks moderate eventrelated reaction and adaptation. Specifically, we applied multiphase growth models to prospective longitudinal data from 2,848 participants (age at diagnosis: M = 69, SD = 9.91; 46% women) in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) who reported receiving a cancer diagnosis while enrolled in the study. On average, individuals experienced a significant increase in depressive symptoms within 2 years of cancer diagnosis, still-elevated levels 2 years postdiagnosis, and smaller increases in depressive symptoms postdiagnosis relative to the increases observed prediagnosis. Better memory and lower cancer-specific mortality risks were protective against increases in depressive symptoms within 2 years of diagnosis and were associated with reporting fewer depressive symptoms 2 years postdiagnosis. Findings suggest that diagnosis-related changes in depressive symptoms are typically characterized by a multiphase pattern, but tremendous between-person differences also emerged within each phase. Follow-up analyses comparing a matched group (N = 2,272) who did not experience cancer provided an additional layer of evidence supporting our inferences. Results indicate that, on average, people adapt and adjust to the challenges accompanying a cancer diagnosis, and illustrate the utility of using natural experiments such as major life events as a paradigm for studying developmental change processes.

AB - Major life events trigger change processes in mental health. We examined how depressive symptoms change in conjunction with cancer diagnosis during adulthood and old age, and whether sociodemographic variables, cognitive and health resources, and cancer-specific mortality risks moderate eventrelated reaction and adaptation. Specifically, we applied multiphase growth models to prospective longitudinal data from 2,848 participants (age at diagnosis: M = 69, SD = 9.91; 46% women) in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) who reported receiving a cancer diagnosis while enrolled in the study. On average, individuals experienced a significant increase in depressive symptoms within 2 years of cancer diagnosis, still-elevated levels 2 years postdiagnosis, and smaller increases in depressive symptoms postdiagnosis relative to the increases observed prediagnosis. Better memory and lower cancer-specific mortality risks were protective against increases in depressive symptoms within 2 years of diagnosis and were associated with reporting fewer depressive symptoms 2 years postdiagnosis. Findings suggest that diagnosis-related changes in depressive symptoms are typically characterized by a multiphase pattern, but tremendous between-person differences also emerged within each phase. Follow-up analyses comparing a matched group (N = 2,272) who did not experience cancer provided an additional layer of evidence supporting our inferences. Results indicate that, on average, people adapt and adjust to the challenges accompanying a cancer diagnosis, and illustrate the utility of using natural experiments such as major life events as a paradigm for studying developmental change processes.

KW - Adulthood and old age

KW - Cancer diagnosis

KW - Health and Retirement Study

KW - Reaction and adaptation to major life events

KW - Subjective well-being

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84881251280&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84881251280&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0029775

DO - 10.1037/a0029775

M3 - Article

C2 - 22984800

AN - SCOPUS:84881251280

VL - 28

SP - 386

EP - 401

JO - Psychology and Aging

JF - Psychology and Aging

SN - 0882-7974

IS - 2

ER -