Positive and negative mood in men with advanced prostate cancer undergoing androgen deprivation therapy: considering the role of social support and stress. By Benedict et al. 2014
Key sentence from the paper: “Among individuals living with advanced prostate cancer, social support may be an important factor that sustains positive mood in the presence of stress.”
For the full abstract, see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25251737
Commentary: This is an elegant study that looks at how both social support and stress affect the moods of men on ADT. The authors recognize “positive mood” as characterized by “happiness, joy, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment” and then make a subtle distinction. Negative mood is the opposite, but in real life most of the time we find ourselves between the two extremes rather than parked at one extreme or other other. The authors state that “anxiety is believed to result from high levels of negative mood, whereas depression is characterized by high levels of negative mood and low levels of positive mood.” That is a distinction that one rarely sees in studies on cancer populations.
Several important relationships with mood are observed when positive and negative mood are correlated with both stress and social support.
1. “[P]ositive mood may be more predictive of general health perceptions, expectations, and functional status than negative mood…”
2. “…men in this study appeared better able to maintain positive mood under stress when they perceived higher levels of support.”
And finally, “A balance of negative and positive emotions is likely the most appropriate coping style and an indication that one is facing the reality of the situation and taking the disease and its treatment seriously…”
To summarize all that, no one expects a patient on ADT to be happy or have a positive mood all the time. We know from Lee et al. (2014; Psychooncology) that many patients on ADT struggle with depression which increases negative mood. But having social support can make a big difference in tolerating the stress associated being on that treatment.
Benedict C, Dahn JR, Antoni MH, Traeger L, Kava B, Bustillo N, Zhou ES, Penedo FJ. 2014. Positive and negative mood in men with advanced prostate cancer undergoing androgen deprivation therapy: considering the role of social support and stress. Psychooncology. 23 September 2014 [Epub ahead of print]