Differential disgust responding in people with cancer and implications for psychological wellbeing

Azlan, Haffiezhah A. and Overton, Paul and Simpson, Jane and Powell, Phillip (2017) Differential disgust responding in people with cancer and implications for psychological wellbeing. Psychology and Health, 32 (1). pp. 19-37. ISSN 0887-0446

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Objectives: Evidence suggests that disgust responses, known to negatively affect psychological wellbeing, may differ in people with cancer. We performed the first quantitative investigation of three discrete types of disgust trait - disgust propensity, sensitivity, and self-directed disgust - in people diagnosed with a broad range of cancers (versus cancer-free controls), and explored their associations with psychological wellbeing. Design: In a cross-sectional survey design, 107 participants with heterogeneous cancer diagnoses, recruited from cancer charities and support groups, were matched with cancer-free controls by age and gender. Outcome measures: Measures of the three disgust traits were taken alongside measures of anxiety and depression. Results: Disgust sensitivity and physical self-disgust were significantly higher in the cancer than control sample, while disgust propensity and behavioural self-disgust were lower. The disgust traits had a different pattern of associations to psychological wellbeing across the two groups, with disgust sensitivity predicting depressive symptoms to a significantly greater extent in the cancer than control group. Conclusions: People with cancer differ from matched controls in their disgust responses and these responses have significant predictive relationships with aspects of their psychological wellbeing. The results suggest that emotion-based interventions may be useful for improving psychological wellbeing in people with cancer.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychology and Health
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology and Health on 12/09/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/08870446.2016.1235165
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Deposited On:
21 Sep 2016 09:16
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 03:46