To examine the association of affective experience and health-related quality of life in lung cancer patients, we hypothesized that negative affect would be positively, and positive affect would be negatively, associated with perceived health.
A sample of 133 English-speaking lung cancer patients (33% female; mean age = 63.68 years old, SD = 9.37) completed a battery of self-report surveys.
Results of our secondary analysis indicate that trait negative affect was significantly associated with poor physical and social functioning, greater role limitations due to emotional problems, greater bodily pain, and poor general health. Positive affect was significantly associated with adaptive social functioning, fewer emotion-based role limitations, and less severe bodily pain. In a full model, positive affect was significantly associated with greater levels of social functioning and general health, over and above the effects of negative affect.
Reduction of negative affect is an important therapeutic goal, but the ability to maintain positive affect may result in greater perceived health. Indeed, engagement in behaviors that result in greater state positive affect may, over time, result in dispositional changes and enhancement of quality of life.