Author Archives: Janse M, Ranchor AV, Smink A, Sprangers MA, Fleer J

People with cancer use goal adjustment strategies in the first 6 months after diagnosis and tell us how.






Related Articles

People with cancer use goal adjustment strategies in the first 6 months after diagnosis and tell us how.

Br J Health Psychol. 2015 Sep 28;

Authors: Janse M, Ranchor AV, Smink A, Sprangers MA, Fleer J

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Theory has offered suggestions on how people may adjust their personal goals after goal disturbance or altered life situations. However, the actual use of these goal adjustment strategies has rarely been studied. This study aimed to investigate whether the goal adjustment strategies identified in the literature are used in the first 6 months following a diagnosis of cancer and whether alternative strategies can be identified.
DESIGN: Exploratory design with a qualitative method of data collection.
METHODS: Patients were asked to list their current personal goals within a month after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Six months later, they were asked what had happened to each of these goals. For each goal, raters scored whether (1) it was achieved or being pursued as planned, (2) a known strategy was used, or (3) an alternative strategy was used.
RESULTS: Patients with colorectal cancer (n = 130) reported that more than half of their goals had been achieved or were being pursued as planned. The remaining goals (n = 210) required goal adjustment strategies. Patients used five of six known strategies that involved mostly limited adjustment. Additionally, they used combinations of goal adjustment strategies, and two alternative strategies were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: This study found that patients with cancer use goal adjustment strategies, and it provides illustrations on how these strategies are used, thus deepening and extending existing knowledge of and theory on goal adjustment. Future studies should take the newly identified strategies into account as well as the possible use of combinations of strategies. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? The successful pursuit of personal goals is important for maintaining well-being. However, an unexpected and serious illness such as cancer can lead to the need to adjust goals, either because they have become difficult or impossible to attain due to physical hindrance of the illness and/or its treatment, or because other goals have become important due to the confrontation with the fragility of life. Theories have proposed options of how people may deal with their personal goals, but whether these so-called goal adjustment strategies are actually used by cancer patients, and whether there are alternative strategies we need to take into account, is still unclear. What does this study add? This study employs a qualitative method of data collection to study what actually happens to cancer patients’ goals during the first 6 months after diagnosis. This study found that almost all goal adjustment strategies from theory are indeed used by cancer patients and that they mostly use strategies which involve only limited adjustment and a continued focus on the original goal. We found that patients with cancer use combinations of strategies and two alternative strategies, thereby complementing and expanding theories on goal adjustment.

PMID: 26412011 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Continue reading

Posted in Br J Health Psychol | Tagged | Leave a comment

Changes in cancer patients’ personal goals in the first 6 months after diagnosis: the role of illness variables.






Related Articles

Changes in cancer patients’ personal goals in the first 6 months after diagnosis: the role of illness variables.

Support Care Cancer. 2014 Dec 6;

Authors: Janse M, Ranchor AV, Smink A, Sprangers MA, Fleer J

Abstract
PURPOSE: Setting and pursuing personal goals is a vital aspect of our identity and purpose in life. Cancer can put pressure on these goals and may be a reason for people to adjust them. Therefore, this paper investigates (1) changes in cancer patients’ goals over time and (2) the extent to which illness characteristics relate to goal changes.
METHODS: At both assessment points (1 and 7 months post-diagnosis), colorectal cancer patients (n = 198) were asked to list their current goals and rate them on hindrance of illness, attainability, likelihood of success, temporal range and importance. All goals were coded by two independent raters on content (i.e. physical, psychological, social, achievement and leisure). Patients’ medical data were obtained from the national cancer registry.
RESULTS: Over time, patients reported a decrease in illness-related hindrance, higher attainability and likelihood of success, a decrease in total number of goals, goals with a shorter temporal range, and more physical and fewer social goals. At both assessments, patients with more advanced stages of cancer, rectal cancer, a stoma, and receiving additional chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy reported more illness-related hindrance in goal attainment, but only patients with a stoma additionally reported lower attainability, likelihood of success and more short-term goals.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study support the assumption that cancer patients adjust their goals to changing circumstances and additionally show how patients adjust their goals to their illness. Moreover, we demonstrate that illness variables impact on goal change.

PMID: 25479825 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Continue reading

Posted in Support Care Cancer | Tagged | Leave a comment