Illness representations, coping, and illness outcomes in people with cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Methods: A systematic literature search located 54 studies fulfilling the inclusion criteria, with 38 providing sufficient data for meta-analysis. A narrative review of remaining studies was also conducted.
Results: Random-effects models revealed small to moderate effect sizes (Fischer's Z) for the relations between illness representations and coping behaviours (in particular between control perceptions, problem-focused coping, and cognitive reappraisal), and moderate to large effect sizes between illness representations and illness outcomes (in particular between identity, consequences, emotional representations, and psychological distress). The narrative review of studies with insufficient data provided similar results.
Conclusions: The results indicate how illness representations relate to illness outcomes in people with cancer. However, more high quality studies are needed to examine causal effects of illness representations on coping and outcomes. High heterogeneity indicates potential moderators of the relationships between illness representations and health and coping outcomes, including diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment related variables. This review can inform the design of interventions to improve coping strategies and mental health outcomes in people with cancer.
Department/SchoolSchool of Psychological Sciences
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Place of publicationThe Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, England, W Sussex, Po19 8Sq
Rights statementCopyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Emma M. Richardson, Natalie Schüz, Kristy Sanderson, Jenn L. Scott, and Benjamin Schüz, 2016, Illness Representations, Coping, and Illness Outcomes in People with Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Psycho-Oncology, 21/8/16, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.4213. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.