Cancer-related loneliness mediates the relationships between social constraints and symptoms among cancer patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cancer patients have high rates of persistent and disabling symptoms. Evidence suggests that social constraints (e.g., avoidance and criticism) negatively impact symptoms, but pathways linking these variables have yet to be identified. This study examined whether cancer-related loneliness (i.e., feeling socially disconnected related to having cancer) mediated the relationships between social constraints and symptoms (i.e., pain interference, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive complaints) in patients with various cancers (N = 182). Patients (51% female, mean age = 59) were recruited from the Indiana Cancer Registry and completed questionnaires assessing social constraints, cancer-related loneliness, and symptoms. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the hypothesized relationships among variables. The model demonstrated good fit. Consistent with our hypothesis, cancer-related loneliness mediated the relationships between social constraints and each symptom. Findings suggest that addressing cancer-related loneliness in symptom management interventions may mitigate the negative impact of social constraints on outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Adams, RN; Mosher, CE; Winger, JG; Abonour, R; Kroenke, K

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 243 - 252

PubMed ID

  • 28983735

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5844795

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3521

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10865-017-9892-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States