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Title: Are patient attachment orientations mediating factors in changes to their attitudes towards seeking professional help to manage emotional distress?
Author: Clarke, Suzanne
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2015
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Attachment style has been highlighted as a potential influence over cancer patients’ willingness to access services, and their perception of support available. The object of this review is to systematically review and synthesise published literature relating to the relationship of cancer patients’ attachment style and adjustment to cancer. Methods: Electronic database and reference searches were conducted to identify published literature relating to the review’s objective. Search terms were simply “Attachment” and “Cancer”. Results: A total of 3,831 papers were identified, with 25 papers meeting criteria and included in the review. Papers were filtered through by hand, eliminating: duplications; non experimental studies; articles not published in peer review journals; articles relating to medical (e.g. cell attachment) and non-human attachment; participant samples who were not adult cancer patients; and studies which did not use an adult attachment measure. Conclusion: Due to heterogeneity in the study designs, and variation in attachment and wellbeing measures used, there are significant difficulties making coherent conclusive summaries of the results. The review does suggest that cancer patients with more secure attachment orientations, thus lower attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance, are less susceptible to poorer wellbeing, and perceive available support more favourably. In general the results are consistent with existing literature reviewing attachment behaviour outside of cancer settings. Practice Implications: More research is needed to determine what individual difference may influence cancer patients’ wellbeing, and the influences the individual differences have on the patients seeking/ receiving the support they may want and/or need.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology