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October 2021

Psychological adjustment in breast cancer: Processes of emotional distress

Author(s): Compas, B. E., Osewiecki, D. M., Oppedisano, G., Gerhardt, C., Primo, K., Krag, D. N.

Journal/Book: Health Psychol. 1999; 18: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA. Amer Psychological Assoc. 315-326.

Abstract: The process of psychological adjustment to breast cancer was examined at diagnosis and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups in a sample of 80 women with Stage I-Stage IV breast cancer. At diagnosis, symptoms of anxiety/depression were predicted by low dispositional optimism, and this path was partially mediated by use of emotion-focused disengagement coping. Younger age also was predictive of anxiety/depression symptoms at time of diagnosis, and this relationship was fully mediated by magnitude of intrusive thoughts. At 3 months, changes in anxiety/depression symptoms were predicted only by intrusive thoughts. At 6 months, low dispositional optimism reemerged as a significant predictor of changes in anxiety/depression and again was partially mediated by the use of emotion-focused disengagement coping. Independent effects for problem-focused engagement and disengagement and emotion-focused engagement coping were also found at 6 months. Implications of these data for psychosocial interventions with breast cancer patients are highlighted.

Note: Article Compas BE, Univ Vermont, Dept Psychol, Burlington,VT 05405 USA

Keyword(s): breast cancer; psychological adjustment; coping; optimism; WOMEN; OPTIMISM; ANXIETY; HEALTH; DEPRESSION; SYMPTOMS; STRESS; IMPACT

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