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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Campbell

Abstract

ABSTRACT

ADAPTATION TO HEAD AND NECK CANCER IN THE VETERAN POPULATION: A PILOT STUDY

By

DIANE SOBECKI-RYNIAK

December 2018

Advisor: Dr. Margaret Campbell

Major: Nursing

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Post-traumatic stress disorder in the head and neck cancer veteran population may present a challenge to adaptation during diagnosis and treatment of illness. The evaluation of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and quality of life were examined and correlated against symptom occurrence and triggering of post traumatic symptoms across experiences. A significant correlation between PTSD-C and PTSD-S was found (r = 0.91, p = 0.001); there was a non-significant correlation between PTSD-M and PTSD-C; and a non-significant correlation between PTSD-M and PTSD-S . A significant correlation between anxiety and depression was found (r = 0.94, p < 0.0001). Physical dys/function at time of diagnosis, during treatments and after treatments was acceptable to the veteran while social-emotional function was bothersome due to mood, anxiety, recreation, and activity. Most of the calculated correlation coefficients were in small to moderate range, none were statistically significant at a 0.05 level. However, there were two high level correlations between sickness PTSD and saliva (r = 0.52) and between sickness PTSD and shoulder (r = 0.52)

The sample size was small. Most of the correlation coefficients between the PTSD subscale scores were not statistically significant. There are few studies of head and neck cancer in the veteran population correlated with post-traumatic stress disorder in this highly visible disease process that affects functional and social-emotional ability in the veteran patient. Research into this population of veterans needs to be considered due to the important implications in treatment development for head and neck cancer veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Key words: Head and neck cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression

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