The major aim was to explore the extent to which the Miller Behavioral Style Scale (MBSS) can be used to differentiate cancer patients who are likely to benefit from rehabilitation efforts with a strong information
component from those who are not.
Newly diagnosed patients with breast, gastrointestinal, or prostate cancer (N
= 442) were included in a randomized, prospective study of the effects (on anxiety, depression, intrusion, avoidance) of rehabilitation approximately 4 months after diagnosis as compared with control patients. Patients were classified as “monitors” or “blunters” on the basis of the MBSS (368 patients, 83%, completed the MBSS).
The expected interaction at postintervention between coping style and experimental condition (ie, rehabilitation or control) was found only for avoidance among breast and prostate cancer patients. Assignment to the rehabilitation or control condition was of no importance for outcome among blunters. Among monitors, the response pattern differed between breast and prostate cancer patients. Prostate cancer monitors seemed to benefit from rehabilitation on all outcome measures, whereas intrusion and avoidance were reduced among breast cancer patients in the control condition. This interaction of diagnosis with condition (rehabilitation or control) among monitors is suggested to be due to demands for diagnosis-specific information
during diagnostic work, in the period just after diagnosis, and before treatment decision.
Only the monitor concept seems useful for predicting response to cancer rehabilitation with a strong information
component. However, whether rehabilitation is of benefit depends also on other factors.