Social comparisons and quality of life following a prostate cancer diagnosis

Kendall L. Umstead, Sarah S. Kalia, Anne C. Madeo, Lori H. Erby, Thomas O. Blank, Kala Visvanathan, Debra L. Roter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective was to explore the relationships among cognitive appraisals of prostate cancer (challenge, threat, and harm/loss), social comparisons, and quality of life in men previously diagnosed. Design, Sample, & Methods: Men who had participated in prostate cancer support groups completed a cross-sectional questionnaire (N = 189). Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate social comparisons as mediators of quality of life while controlling for uncertainty and optimism. Findings: Positive and negative social comparisons were parallel mediators of the relationships between challenge or threat appraisals and quality of life, while only negative social comparisons mediated the relationship between harm/loss appraisals and quality of life. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the importance of social comparisons in accounting for the effect of cognitive appraisals of prostate cancer on quality of life among men in support groups. Implications for Psychosocial Providers: Interventions to improve quality of life could address reduction of maladaptive comparisons, a strategy that could be tailored based on the patient's appraisal of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-363
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2018


  • cognitive appraisal
  • optimism
  • prostate
  • quality of life
  • social comparison
  • support group
  • survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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