Cognitive orientation and quality of life in cancer survivors

Shulamith Kreitler*, Samario Chaitchik, Hans Kreitler, Yoram Rapoport, Rahel Algor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We designed the current study to clarify the determinants of psychological adjustment to cancer among head-and-neck cancer patients. We explored the determinants in the framework of the cognitive orientation theory (Kreitler and Kreitler, in press) whose major thesis is that cognitive contents and processes guide behavior. The theory has generated a procedure for identifying relevant beliefs of four types (about goals, norms, self, and general) that enable predicting behaviors. The participants were 59 head- and-neck cancer patients with disease stages I to IV, grades of tumors G1 to G3-4, and disease durations of 1.5 to 21 years. They completed a Cognitive Orientation Questionnaire of Adjustment assessing four belief types in themes relevant for adjustment (e.g., readiness to change habits, accepting imperfections), a Psychological Adjustment Questionnaire assessing adjustment in 13 domains (e.g., work, functioning in the family), and scales assessing anxiety, anger, and depression. The stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that, as expected, the four belief types enabled significant predictions of 76% of the variables, particularly the behaviorally oriented but also some evaluative and emotional ones. The beliefs accounted for about 40% of the variance in the dependent variables. The results imply that adjustment is motivation dependent and that adjustment to cancer can result from a systematic modification of relevant beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-234
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • Adjustment
  • Head-and-neck neoplasm
  • Quality of life


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