Does Psychological Flexibility Longitudinally Predict Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Cancer?
F. Venditti1, M. Romoli1, O. Bernini1, F. Cosci2, C. Berrocal1
1University of Pisa, Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area Pathology, Italy
2University of Florence, Department of Health Sciences, Italy
Introduction: A growing body of literature shows that psychological flexibility (PF) is associated with higher psychological well-being (PWB). Studies on this issue conducted in patients with cancer are however few and limited by the cross-sectional nature of the methodological designs. The objective of this study was to explore whether PF longitudinally predicts PWB in patients with cancer. Method: A total of 87 females with cancer (Mean age = 50 years, SD=9.6, range = 23-68) participated in the study. Patients completed the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II (AAQ-II) and the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWB) at Time 1 (T1) and at Time 2 (T2), that is 16 months later. Findings: Results from hierarchical regression analyses – controlling for socio-demographic, clinical, and dependent variables at T1 – showed that PF at T1 significantly and positively predicted both Positive Relations and Personal Growth scores of the PWB as well as the PWB total score at T2. Conclusion: Findings in this study support PF as a temporal antecedent of two important PWB dimensions. Psychological interventions designed to increase PF may be effective to improve PWB in patients with cancer.