The association of cancer patients emotional suppression and their self-rating of psychological distress on short screening tools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Emotional suppression of negative emotions was previously reported to be related to higher psychological distress in cancer patients. The possible effect of elevated levels of emotional suppression on the use of instruments for screening for distress in cancer patients has not been studied. To assess the relation of cancer patients emotional suppression to their self-rating on the Distress Thermometer (DT) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Two hundred forty one cancer patients, aged 21-87 years, completed the DT, the HADS and the Courtauld Emotional Control scale (CEC). Participants reported moderated levels of psychological distress but high mean levels of emotional suppression. Older age and higher levels of education and income predicted lower score on the DT and the HADS. Higher emotional suppression predicted lower self-reported psychological distress on the DT, the total HADS score and the HADS depression subscale, but not on the anxiety subscale. Emotion-regulation style may affect cancer patients self-rating on the screening instruments, hence, reduce their accurate identification of distressed patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by the Maccabi Institute for Health Services Research

Keywords

  • Cancer patients
  • Emotional suppression
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

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