Mood states in long-term cancer survivors: an Italian descriptive survey

Maria Antonietta Annunziata, Barbara Muzzatti, Cristiana Flaiban, Lorena Giovannini, Matilde Carlucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Since long-term survivorship is now a reality for an increasing number of people with cancer, understanding their mood states (i.e., transient subjective emotional states) can inform health-care policy as well as help support individual patients. This study described the mood states of Italian long-term cancer survivors, compared them with normative data, and tested their association with the main clinical and socio-demographic sample’s characteristics. Methods: One hundred and fifty-eight Italian adults free from cancer and its treatments for at least 5 years were administered the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and two ad hoc 0–10-point visual-analogue scales on personal health-related worry and risk perception for a personal relapse, respectively. Results: In comparison with the Italian normative sample, the current sample displayed a higher score in Vigor-Activity (p = 0.003) and a lower score in Confusion-Bewilderment (p = 0.008). In Tension-Anxiety, Confusion-Bewilderment, Depression-Dejection, Anger-Hostility, Fatigue-Inertia, and Vigor-Activity, 14.6, 15.9, 17.1, 17.8, 19.7, and 13.3 % of the sample, respectively, displayed meaningful scores (i.e., scores above or below 1 standard deviation from the normative mean score). The mood state profile POMS-provided was associated with gender (p = 0.002), occupational status (p = 0.003), reported health issues (p <0.001), and quality of sleep (p <0.001). In personal health-related worry and risk perception for a personal relapse, the average scores were 4.8 (SD = 3.0) and 4.1 (SD = 2.9), respectively. Conclusions: These data encourage a multidimensional assessment of emotional functioning of this specific population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3157-3164
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Cancer survivors
  • Mood states
  • Oncology
  • Personal health-related worry
  • Relapse risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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