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Dysfunctional attitudes, depression and quality of life in a sample of Romanian Hungarian cancer patients

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The main objective of this was to investigate the relationship between depression, dysfunctional attitudes (DA), and their effect on quality of life (QoL) in a sample of Romanian Hungarian cancer patients. Our sample consisted of 376 patients hospitalized with different types and grades of cancer, and was assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory, the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, and the Functional Quality of Life Scale. We have found significant differences in depression only between age groups; significant differences in quality of life between age groups and different levels of education; significant differences of dysfunctional attitudes have been found between rural and urban patients. As our data have revealed, in the assessed population one of the most disturbing psychological changes that may accompany this life threatening illness consists in the heightened levels of depression. Taking into consideration the specificities of the traditional rural Romanian Hungarian culture, the reasons for these differences in depression and QoL may be induced or catalyzed by other mechanisms as well. The significant, though weak correlation between dysfunctional attitudes and depression supports this presumption. We suggest that cancer patients may need more individual-tailored and culture specific interventions.

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Dysfunctional attitudes scale, FORM A; norms for the Romanian population

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The results obtained following administration of the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, Form A (Hollon & Kendall, 1980) to a Romanian sample are, on the whole, consistent with those obtained in earlier normative studies involving American samples. The scale was administered to a group of 701 adults and teenagers selected from the normal population. Internal consistency coefficients (Alpha Cronbach) ranged from .79 to .86, which are adequate for reporting reliable results. A pilot study examining validity revealed the DAS-A discriminated between groups with extreme scores on different measures of emotional distress. Norms for the Romanian version of the scale are also included.

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