Anxiety profiles are associated with stress, resilience and symptom severity in outpatients receiving chemotherapy

Kate Oppegaard, Carolyn S. Harris, Joosun Shin, Steven M. Paul, Bruce A. Cooper, Jon D. Levine, Yvette P. Conley, Marilyn Hammer, Frances Cartwright, Fay Wright, Laura Dunn, Kord M. Kober, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purposes of this study, in a sample of oncology patients (n = 1326) receiving chemotherapy, were to identify subgroups of patients with distinct anxiety profiles and evaluate for differences in demographic and clinical characteristics, stress and resilience measures, and severity of co-occurring symptoms (i.e., depression, sleep disturbance, attentional function, fatigue, pain). Methods: Patients completed self-report questionnaires a total of six times over two cycles of chemotherapy. Severity of state anxiety was evaluated using the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory and resilience was assessed using the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, General Sleep Disturbance Scale, Lee Fatigue Scale, Attentional Function Index and Brief Pain Inventory. Results: Based on the findings from the latent profile analysis that utilized the six assessments of state anxiety, 47.7% of the patients were classified as “Low,” 28.3% as “Moderate,” 19.5% as “High,” and 4.5.% as “Very High.” Anxiety levels remained relatively stable across the six timepoints. Compared to the Low class, membership in the Moderate, High, and Very High classes was associated with a number of characteristics (e.g., younger age, female gender, lower functional status, more comorbidities). Those patients with higher levels of anxiety reported higher levels of stress, lower levels of resilience, and increased severity of co-occurring symptoms. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a substantial number of oncology patients may warrant referral to psychological services. Clinicians need to perform systematic assessments of anxiety, stress, and common symptoms and initiate appropriate interventions to enhance resilience and coping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7825-7836
Number of pages12
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Distress
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Resilience
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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