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      Optimism, pessimism, and change of psychological well-being in cancer patients.

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          Abstract

          Whereas most previous studies have assessed optimism/pessimism as a unidimensional construct, there is increasing awareness that optimism and pessimism may represent two partially independent dimensions. In this study, the role of optimism and pessimism for the maintenance of psychological well-being was assessed in 161 newly diagnosed cancer patients. Before the start of chemotherapy, more positive affect balance was associated with higher optimism and lower pessimism. Over the course of 9 months following diagnosis, pessimism predicted negative change in affect balance, whereas no effect of optimism appeared. Higher levels of perceived side-effects of chemotherapy were associated with negative change in affect balance. However, an interaction effect of perceived side-effects with pessimism indicated that this was only the case in patients with above-median levels of pessimism. The conclusion is drawn that it may be more important to be less pessimistic than to be optimistic when diagnosed with cancer.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Psychol Health Med
          Psychology, health & medicine
          Informa UK Limited
          1354-8506
          1354-8506
          Aug 2007
          : 12
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Developmental Psychology and Center for Applied Developmental Science, Friedrich Schiller University, Germany. Martin.Pinquart@uni-jena.de
          780489551
          10.1080/13548500601084271
          17620206

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