The effect of age on illness cognition, subjective well-being and psychological distress among gastric cancer patients

Yuval Palgi, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Yaira Hamama-Raz, Einat Shacham Shmueli, Amit Shrira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study examined illness cognition - thoughts and perceptions - patients hold regarding their illness and psychological adaptation in various age groups. More specifically, we aimed to examine whether illness cognition among cancer patients is related to their age. In addition, such association of illness cognition and age was also examined with respect to subjective well-being and psychological distress. A cross-sectional sample comprised of 123 consecutive post-treatment gastric outpatients. Their mean age was 57.31 (SD = 12.74), 56.9% (n = 70) were men and 81.3% (n = 100) were married. The results indicated a higher level of acceptance and a lower level of psychological distress among the young-old participants (60-69) compared with their counterparts. The oldest group (70+ years) had the highest level of helplessness and psychological distress, and the lowest level of acceptance, satisfaction and affect balance compared with the young-old participants. Among gastric cancer patients, age was found to be a factor relevant to the understanding of illness cognitions (acceptance and sense of helplessness) along with subjective well-being and psychological distress. These findings have practical implications for working with older cancer patients. Implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-286
Number of pages7
JournalStress and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • cancer
  • illness
  • older person
  • perception
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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