Colorectal cancer patient's self-efficacy for managing illness-related problems in the first 2 years after diagnosis, results from the ColoREctal Well-being (CREW) study.
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PURPOSE: There is a growing emphasis on self-management of cancer aftercare. Little is known about patient's self-efficacy (confidence) to manage illness-related problems and how this changes over time. This paper describes the patterns of self-efficacy for managing illness-related problems amongst colorectal cancer patients in the 2 years following diagnosis. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, questionnaires were administered at baseline (pre-surgery), 3, 9, 15 and 24 months to 872 colorectal cancer patients. Self-efficacy (confidence to manage illness-related problems), anxiety, social support, affect, socio-demographics, physical symptoms and clinical and treatment characteristics were assessed. Group-based trajectory analysis identified trajectories of self-efficacy up to 24 months and predictors. RESULTS: Four trajectories of self-efficacy were identified: group 1 (very confident) 16.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) 10.7-21.3%), group 2 (confident) 45.6% (95% CI 40.3-51.0%), group 3 (moderately confident) 29.5% (95% CI 25.1-33.8%) and group 4 (low confidence) 8.9% (95% CI 6.4-11.4%). Greater deprivation, domestic status, more co-morbidities, worse fatigue and pain, lower positivity and greater negativity were significantly associated with lower self-efficacy. There was an increase in mean scores for self-efficacy over time for the whole sample, but this did not reach the cut-off for minimally important differences. At 2 years, the lowest level of confidence to manage was for symptoms or health problems. CONCLUSION: Around 40% of patients had suboptimal levels of confidence to manage illness-related problems with little change from the time of diagnosis across the four groups. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Screening for self-efficacy at diagnosis would enable targeted, early intervention which could in turn enhance health-related quality of life.
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Clinical Trials & Statistics Unit
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J Cancer Surviv, 2017