Lei Zhu’s talk
Identification of trajectories of personal control in cancer patients and their association with the course of psychological symptoms
The main aim of the current paper is to identify trajectories of personal control in cancer patients who were receiving psychosocial care over 9 months (N = 241). Moreover, we examined possible predictors of these trajectories of personal control and the course of psychological outcomes (i.e., depressive and anxiety symptoms) over time at each personal control trajectory group. A latent class analysis was applied to examine the research questions. Specifically, a 3-step approach by using auxiliary variables was performed in Mplus 7. The results showed that three trajectory groups of personal control (entropy = 0.75) fitted best: (1) a group of patients that started out with high control and showed improvements over time (“high control improvement group”: 41%), (2) a group of patients with a relatively stable moderate level of control (“moderate control stable group”: 50%), and (3) a group that kept relatively low personal control across all time points (“low control group”: 9%). Only education was a significantly predictor of these trajectories. With regard to the associations with psychological functioning, both patients in the high control improvement group and in the moderate control stable group experienced large decreases in depressive and anxiety symptoms. In contrast, patients in the low control group kept a stable high level on depression and anxiety.