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Gary Deimling

Correlated and Coupled Trajectories of Cancer-Related Worries and Depressive Symptoms among Long-Term Cancer Survivors
Kypriotakis, George; Deimlng, Gary; Hofer, Scott; Piccinin, Andrea
Behavioral Medicine, 2014 August 1: 1-11


The quality of life over time of long-term survivors has become an important part of both cancer and aging research. This paper examines individual differences in trajectories of cancer-related worries and depressive symptoms of 179 participants who completed four waves of annual interviews. Cancer-related worries were significantly associated with both initial level and trajectories of depressive symptoms. In a parallel process growth curve model, the initial level of depressive symptoms was significantly correlated with both the initial level and rate of change in cancer-related worry over time. Our findings indicate that cancer survivors are never completely removed from cancer’s threats to quality of life, even as they survive into later life. These findings also suggest that older adults face the dual vulnerability of aging with its growing number of comorbidities and related symptoms along with the vulnerability conferred by cancer-related sequelae and the possibility of recurrence or new cancers.


Adaptation and adjustment to cancer in later life: a conceptual model

Deimling, G., Kahana, M., Bowman, K
Cancer and Aging, edited by K. M. Bellizzi and M. Goseny. Wiley-Blackwell. 2012


This chapter entitled ”Adaptation and Adjustment to Cancer by Older Adults”,  examines  two related questions.  The first is exactly what do we mean by “adaptation” and “adjustment” to cancer. The second question is how do we conceptualize aging and older adulthood in relationship to cancer adaptation or adjustment?   This chapter considers possible answers to both of these questions and discusses alternative approaches to adaptation and adjustment with a focus on older adult cancer patients and survivors.   A conceptual model is presented that identifies the factors that represent adaptation and adjustment to cancer that are most relevant for older adults who have been diagnosed and treated for this disease.  This model is then used to organize a review of research findings from the recent aging and oncology literatures related to the conceptual model.  In this review we integrate research findings from our own NCI funded study on “The Quality of Life of Older-adult, Long-term Cancer Survivors”.



Determinants of Altered Life Perspectives Among Older-Adult Long-term Cancer Survivors
Kahana, Boaz, Kahana, Eva, Deimling, Gary T., Sterns, Samantha, VanGunten, Madeline
Cancer Nursing 34(3): 209-218, 2011


Objective: Consistent with nursing researchers’ views about the duality of cancer survivor experiences, this research examined both positive and negative posttraumatic transformations (PTTs) among long-term survivors. Demographic, stress, and appraisal-related predictors of transformations were considered   Conclusion: Many long-term older cancer survivors report PTT reflecting altered perspectives on life. Posttraumatic transformations are related to the view that cancer is a continuing worrisome and stigmatizing experience. Implications for Practice: Nurses have a unique opportunity to discuss with patients the potentially life-changing nature of the cancer experience in a manner that allows for understanding and acceptance of complex changes, incorporating benefit finding along with acknowledgement of loss and suffering. This type of discussion can enhance cancer survivors’ mental health. (C) 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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