Various types of stress and greater use of disengagement coping are associated with worse sleep disturbance in oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy

Alejandra Calvo-Schimmel, Steven M. Paul, Bruce A. Cooper, Carolyn Harris, Joosun Shin, Kate Oppegaard, Marilyn J. Hammer, Frances Cartwright, Yvette P. Conley, Kord M. Kober, Jon D. Levine, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Various types of stress and the choice of coping strategies may be risk factors for higher levels of sleep disturbance in oncology patients. Purposes were to evaluate for differences in global, cancer-specific, and cumulative life stress, as well as resilience and the use of coping strategies among three subgroups of patients with distinct sleep disturbance profiles (i.e., Low, High, Very High). Oncology outpatients (n = 1331) completed measures of global (Perceived Stress Scale), cancer-specific (Impact of Event Scale-Revised), and cumulative life (Life Stressor Checklist-Revised) stress, resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale) and coping (Brief Cope) prior to their second or third cycle of chemotherapy. Sleep disturbance was assessed six times over two chemotherapy cycles. Differences were evaluated using parametric and non-parametric tests. All stress measures showed a dose response effect (i.e., as the sleep disturbance profile worsened, levels of all types of stress increased). Compared to Low class, the other two classes reported higher levels of global perceived stress and higher occurrence rates and effect from previous stressful life events. Impact of Event Scale-Revised scores for the Very High class indicated post-traumatic symptomatology. Patients in High and Very High classes had resilience scores below the normative score for the United States population and used a higher number of disengagement coping strategies. Our findings suggest that very high levels of sleep disturbance are associated with higher levels of various types of stress, lower levels of resilience, and higher use of disengagement coping strategies. Clinicians need to perform routine assessments and implement symptom management interventions to reduce stress and encourage the use of engagement coping strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3279
JournalStress and Health
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • coping
  • resilience
  • sleep disturbance
  • stress

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