Purpose: We aimed to assess the influence of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) and perceived social support on psychological impairment in a sample of patients urgently referred for prostate and bladder cancer investigations.
Methods: Eighty seven patients (mean age = 62.92; SD = 13.23) were recruited prior to undergoing an investigative procedure for either prostate (n = 45) or bladder (n = 42) cancer. Patients completed measures of psychological impairment (state anxiety and worry) and 82 also competed measures of trait EI and perceived social support. Multivariate linear regression was used to predict the direct and moderated effects of trait EI and perceived social support on psychological impairment.
Results: Thirty one percent of patients were considered to be suffering from clinical levels of state anxiety. Trait EI was a significant predictor of state anxiety, worry regarding the appointment, worry regarding the outcome of the appointment and perceived social support. In contrast, perceived social support was not predictive of psychological impairment on any measure and did not moderate the relationship between trait EI and psychological impairment.
Conclusions: Patients urgently referred for urological cancer investigations are a group at risk of psychological impairment and may benefit from healthcare professional support. High trait EI was associated with less state anxiety, less worry and higher perceived social support. There were few consistent effects of perceived social support on psychological impairment. Consideration should be given to the inclusion of trait EI in future models of trauma adaptation.