Does resilience ‘buffer’ against depression in prostate cancer patients? A multi-site replication study

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Although psychological resilience has been shown to ‘buffer’ against depression following major stressors, no studies have reported on this relationship within the prostate cancer (PCa) population, many of whom are at elevated risk of depression, health problems and suicide. To investigate the effects of resilience upon anxiety and depression in the PCa population, postal surveys of 425 PCa patients were collected from two sites: 189 PCa patients at site 1 and 236 at site 2. Background data plus responses to depression and resilience scales were collected. Results indicated that total resilience score was a significant buffer against depression across both sites. Resilience had different underlying component factor structures across sites, but only one (common) factor significantly (inversely) predicted depression. Within that factor, only some specific items significantly predicted depression scores, suggesting a focused relationship between resilience and depression. It may be concluded that measures of resilience may be used to screen depression at-risk PCa patients. These patients might benefit from resilience training to enhance their ability to cope effectively with the stress of their diagnosis and treatment. A focus upon specific aspects of overall resilience may be of further benefit in both these processes.

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