YAC Prime: Exploring body image and psychological distress into the post-traumatic growth model among young adult cancer survivors

YAC Prime: Exploring body image and psychological distress into the post-traumatic growth model among young adult cancer survivors

We’re releasing abstracts from the #YACPrime presentations held at #IPOS2019; click here for more!

Objectives: Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is an integral psychosocial outcome during survivorship, yet is poorly understood among YA. Founded on the PTG framework, the purpose of this study was to test the relationship between body image and PTG, as well as explore psychological distress as a mediator of this relationship.

Methods: Participants completed measures of PTG, body image, and psychological distress as part of the YACPRIME study, a national survey of Canadians diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 39.

Results: A sample of 531 (Mage = 34, SD = 6.3 years; 12.4 per cent male) YA cancer survivors completed the questionnaire. Females reported significantly (p < .05) higher body dissatisfaction and no other sex differences were noted. In preliminary analyses, body image was significantly associated with distress (r = .43, p < .001) and PTG (r = -.10, p = .02). Distress and PTG were also correlated (r = -.12, p = .004). Using bootstrapped mediation analysis controlling for relevant personal and cancer specific variables, the indirect effect of distress mediating the association between body image and PTG was not significant (effect = -.10, SE = .06; 95 per cent CI = -.23 to .05).

Conclusions: Psychosocial interventions targeting YA should focus on addressing body image concerns and explore other relevant coping strategies to test additional psychosocial pathways identified in the PTG framework to guide the management of distress and growth following cancer in young people.


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