Does Psychological Flexibility Longitudinally Predict Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Cancer?
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.