Childhood Adversity and Cumulative Life Stress: Risk Factors for Cancer-Related Fatigue.

TitleChildhood Adversity and Cumulative Life Stress: Risk Factors for Cancer-Related Fatigue.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBower JE, Crosswell AD, Slavich GM
JournalClin Psychol Sci
Date Published2014 Jan

Fatigue is a common symptom in healthy and clinical populations, including cancer survivors. However, risk factors for cancer-related fatigue have not been identified. On the basis of research linking stress with other fatigue-related disorders, we tested the hypothesis that stress exposure during childhood and throughout the life span would be associated with fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Stress exposure was assessed using the Stress and Adversity Inventory, a novel computer-based instrument that assesses for 96 types of acute and chronic stressors that may affect health. Results showed that breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue reported significantly higher levels of cumulative lifetime stress exposure, including more stressful experiences in childhood and in adulthood, compared to a control group of nonfatigued survivors. These findings identify a novel risk factor for fatigue in the growing population of cancer survivors and suggest targets for treatment.

Alternate JournalClin Psychol Sci
PubMed ID24377083
PubMed Central IDPMC3873097
Grant ListK08 MH103443 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA160427 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R25 CA087949 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
T32 GM084903 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States