Self-Transcendence, Illness Perception, and Depression in Taiwanese Men with Oral Cancer
AdvisorReed, Pamela G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPurposes/Aims: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of self-transcendence along with illness perception and selected demographic factors in the experience of depression in Taiwanese men who have oral cancer. There are three main research questions: 1) What are the relationships among the following variables: demographic variables (age, education level, marital status, income, and work class), illness perception, self-transcendence, and depression? 2) How does self-transcendence relate to depression–directly or as a mediator between illness perception and depression? 3) What set of variables best explain the variance in depression? Significance and Conceptual Framework Oral cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among men in Taiwan since 2003. Depression is common in oral cancer patients and is associated with poor quality of life and negative health outcomes, such as morbidity and mortality. Illness perception is the person’s understanding of his/her health threat based upon previous experiences and how perceptions affect an individual’s coping. Self-transcendence is an inner resource of which research evidence suggests that it promotes well-being and decreases level of depression in the context of significant life-altering health events. It is proposed then that during the crisis of diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer, self-transcendence may be an independent contributor to well-being, or function as a mediator in alleviating depression. Method: This is a cross-sectional, descriptive design. A convenience sample of men who have a confirmed diagnosis of oral cancer was recruited from the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oncology, which is located at two medical centers in the same county in Taiwan. The inclusion criteria are male, ages 18 or older, ability to communicate in Mandarin or Taiwanese, and agreeing to participate in this study. Participants completed a Demographic and Health Related Questionnaire, a Chinese version of the Self- Transcendence Scale, Chinese versions of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire, and a Chinese version of Beck’s Depression Inventory. Data analysis included use of descriptive statistics, correlation coefficients, and multiple regression. Results and Implications The results of this study support a clinical focus on facilitating self-transcendence to improve healing outcomes during this stressful event. Obtaining information about the role of self-transcendence in Taiwanese men with oral cancer may be particularly helpful in designing interventions or support programs to prevent or minimize depressive symptoms. Self-transcendence practices may help mediate the impact of negative illness perceptions on the emotional distress of men with oral cancer. Continued research and evaluation of practice applications of the theory will contribute to nursing knowledge concerning the relationships of illness perception, self-transcendence and demographic and health-related factors in depression among Taiwanese men with oral cancer.
Degree ProgramGraduate College