Social Comparisons Predict Health-Related Quality of Life and Depressive Symptoms across the First Year of Breast Cancer Treatment.
Psychooncology. 2018 Nov 30;:
Authors: Bouchard LC, Fisher HM, Carver CS, Kim Y, Antoni MH
BACKGROUND: Social comparisons are common among cancer patients, but their prospective associations are not well understood. This study examined concurrent and prospective relationships of SCs with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and depressive symptoms during the first year of breast cancer treatment.
METHODS: Non-metastatic breast cancer patients (N=240) enrolled in a larger intervention trial reported on the frequencies of SCs post-surgery (T1) and 6 months later (T2). Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and depressive symptoms were assessed at T1, T2, and 12 months after T1 (T3). Path analysis via structural equation modeling was used to assess two models relating SCs to HRQOL and depressive symptoms from T1-T2 and from T2-T3, controlling for stage of disease, intervention condition, and dispositional optimism.
RESULTS: Upward contrast SCs were associated with poorer concurrent HRQOL at T1 and T2, and with more concurrent depressive symptoms at T2. However, upward contrast SC at T1 predicted better T2 and T3 HRQOL. Upward identification SC at T1 predicted more T2 depressive symptoms, and at T2 was associated with poorer concurrent HRQOL and more concurrent depressive symptoms. Downward identification SCs at T1 were associated with poorer concurrent HRQOL. Downward identification SCs at T2 predicted poorer T3 HRQOL.
CONCLUSIONS: Upward SCs were related to compromised concurrent psychosocial well-being, but prospective effects varied by the interpretation of the comparison (i.e., contrast vs. identification). Findings have implications for the development and deployment of group-based psychosocial interventions during the early phases of survivorship, during which opportunities for SC are prevalent.
PMID: 30501015 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]