Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Amy Farrell

for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

on June 26, 2018 at 10:00 AM in Psychology Building

Advisor: Leslie Robinson

Characteristics of Smoking Oncology Patients in a Community Cancer Center: A Study of Individual Differences

ABSTRACT: More research is warranted to address potentially important factors for why cessation interventions in oncology patients have not been effective. The present study aimed to expand upon the current literature by exploring sample characteristics and individual differences in this understudied population. METHOD: Data were collected from 546 adult participants at a mid-South community-based cancer center. Three measures were developed and subjected to factor analysis to assess level of health literacy, perceived stigma, and oncology-related triggers. These variables were then used as the dependent variables for three separate General Linear Models to determine whether scores on the perceived stigma, oncology-related smoking triggers, and health literacy measures varied by ethnicity, gender, smoking level, and whether the participant was a cancer survivor or currently in treatment. RESULTS: Each measure demonstrated adequate internal consistency and produced a single factor. Females were more likely than males to experience increased levels of smoking triggers when faced with oncology-related symptoms or treatments. Caucasians were more likely than African Americans, and lower level smokers were more likely than heavy smokers, to experience high levels of health literacy in terms of smoking-related outcomes for cancer patients. No individual differences were found within perceived stigma scores. CONCLUSION: Each scale demonstrated adequate internal consistency in an oncology patient sample, making them appropriate for use in future research in this population as well as confirming their utility in a clinical setting. Participants differed across scales in several aspects including ethnicity, gender, and amount smoked, indicating the need to consider these factors when conducting future research.