This is a cooperative study funded by the World Psychiatric Association among three centers based in the United States, Italy and Australia. John M. de Figueiredo, MD, ScD, based in the USA, is the Principal Investigator. Giovanni Fava, MD, in Italy, and David Clarke, Ph.D., in Australia, are Co-Principal Investigators. The objective of this study is to test the following hypotheses in outpatients with cancer: (a) subjective incompetence is directly correlated with functional impairment and predicts functional impairment; (b) subjective incompetence is a necessary component of demoralization; and (c) depression and subjective incompetence are separate components of demoralization. Cross-national and cross-cultural differences in the pattern of results will be examined and interpreted.
Approvals of the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) of all three centers have been obtained. A website was developed to be shared by all three centers for data entry. The instruments have been piloted and research assistants have been trained in the procedures for the data collection. The recruitment of subjects has begun. Data will be collected in the next several months using several instruments to assess for demographics, socioeconomic status, demoralization, subjective incompetence, functional impairment, physical health status, perceived stress, social supports and psychiatric diagnosis. Each center will collect data on 90 subjects. It is expected that the data collection will be completed in July 2011 and the final report will be prepared by Dec 2011.