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Authors: Ernst, Mareike
Beutel, Manfred E.
Brähler, Elmar
Title: Cancer as a risk factor for distress and its interactions with sociodemographic variables in the context of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany
Online publication date: 2-Feb-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a psychological challenge, especially for individuals with chronic illnesses. The aim of this study was to investigate associations of cancer with distress, including its interplay with further risk and protective factors. We conducted a representative survey of the German population (N = 2503, including N = 144 with a cancer diagnosis) during the first wave of the pandemic. In multiple linear and logistic regression analyses, we tested associations of cancer with depression and anxiety symptoms and suicidal ideation. We also investigated moderating effects of age, gender, income, living situation, marital status, and loneliness. Individuals with cancer were more likely to report anxiety symptoms (φ = .061), suicidal ideation (φ = .050), and loneliness (φ = .044) than other participants. In regression analyses that controlled for sociodemographic differences, cancer was still associated with anxiety symptoms. We also observed interaction effects, indicating that this relation was especially strong in men with cancer and that cancer survivors with a low income were particularly likely to report anxiety symptoms. The findings demonstrate that cancer survivors are a vulnerable group and that factors of different life domains interact in shaping well-being in the population, necessitating comprehensive risk assessment and support offers during the pandemic and beyond.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: Scientific reports
Pages or article number: 2021
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-06016-x
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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