According to new researchers, points to the importance of cancer patients being able to understand and work out their depressed feelings. Researchers feel that with a firm knowledge of their feelings but no way to deal with them, the patient is left with increased feelings of depression and anxiety.
Researchers from the University of Texas performed a unique Internet study to determine the role of emotional intelligence in how cancer patients cope with their condition. They recruited breast cancer patients to fill out an anonymous survey online. More than 550 women filled out the survey and 200 of the responses were usable for the study. The questions centered on emotional intelligence, social support and social constraints.
Emotional intelligence is made up of three components. They are attention to feeling, clarity of feeling and mood repair. The goal was to determine which components of emotional intelligence is most important and how they relate to the other categories examined.
After reviewing the results, John Schmidt, M.S., a researcher on the project, Broadcast News, "We found people who are the most attentive to their feelings but had low levels of clarity and mood repair had more anxiety and depression. Those who had better clarity and repair were better off regardless of their social constraints."
This study was anonymous and therefore researchers will not be doing any follow up with these women, but Schmidt says the next step is to do a study where they are able to contact the women and follow-up later to see how the women have changed. Schmidt says the importance of the findings is that with increased knowledge, psychologists can develop therapies more geared towards the problem areas.