Graduation Year

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Paul B. Jacobsen, Ph.D.

Keywords

Androgen deprivation, Fatigue, Sleep, Depression, Catastrophizing

Abstract

The present study evaluated the prevalence, severity, and psychosocial correlates of hot flashes in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Seventy-two men completed a detailed packet of questionnaires prior to the initiation of treatment and again three-months later. Results indicated that the extent to which hot flashes interfered with patients' daily functioning significantly contributed to changes in depressive symptoms. Changes in fatigue were found to mediate the relationship between hot-flash related interference and depressive symptomatology, suggesting that increases in fatigue were responsible for the concurrent increases in symptoms of depression. The coping strategy of catastrophizing moderated the relationship between hot flash-related interference and cancer-related distress, such that levels of cancer-related distress in men reporting greater use of catastrophizing were dependent upon levels of hot flash-related interference. Men who did not engage in catastrophizing reported uniformly low levels of cancer-related distress regardless of the extent to which hot flashes interfered with daily functioning. Expected relationships between hot flashes and sexual functioning or masculine self-image were not confirmed. These findings provide valuable information regarding the experience of hot flashes in this population. Results indicate that reduction of fatigue may lead to reductions in depressive symptoms, while reducing patients' use of catastrophizing may alleviate cancer-related distress.

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