Daily well-being of cancer survivors: The role of somatic amplification

Mary Jon Barrineau, Steven H. Zarit, Heather A. King, Erin S. Costanzo, David M. Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The current study examined the role that somatic amplification plays in placing cancer survivors at an increased risk of impairments in daily well-being, specifically severity of physical symptoms, positive affect and negative affect. Methods: Participants were drawn from Midlife Development in the United States National Study of daily health and well-being (MIDUS) and the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE, Project 2). One hundred eleven individuals with a cancer history were compared with a matched comparison group of individuals who did not have a cancer history. Results: Results show that across both groups, somatic amplification is associated with higher negative affect and higher severity of physical symptoms. However, results also show that a somatic amplification by cancer status interaction predicts severity of physical symptoms. The significant interaction indicates that in the comparison group, level of physical symptom severity is the same regardless of whether the individual is high or low on somatic amplification. However, in the group of individuals with a cancer history, individuals who are high on somatic amplification report more severe physical symptoms than individuals who are low on somatic amplification. Conclusions: These findings suggest that heightened attention to minor bodily symptoms impacts individuals with a cancer history differently than individuals who have not experienced cancer, and therefore, may have important implications for the manner in which continued care is provided to cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1033
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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