cancer benefits

cancer benefits - Psychology and Health April, 2005, 20(2):...

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Psychology and Health April, 2005, 20(2): 175–192 Finding benefit in breast cancer: Relations with personality, coping, and concurrent well-being KENYA R. URCUYO, AMY E. BOYERS, CHARLES S. CARVER, & MICHAEL H. ANTONI University of Miami (Received 18 February 2004; in final form 2 September 2004) Abstract Cancer patients experience positive as well as adverse consequences from cancer diagnosis and treatment. The work reported here was part of an effort to characterize the experiences of benefit finding in breast cancer patients. A sample of 230 early-stage breast cancer patients completed a set of benefit finding items in the year post-surgery. This measure was then related to measures of concurrent coping, several aspects of psychosocial well-being, demographic variables, and several other personality traits. Benefit finding related positively to trait optimism, and to positive reframing and religious activity as coping reactions. Benefit finding related inversely to emotional distress, but was relatively unrelated to other measures of well-being. Keywords: Quality of life, breast cancer, benefit finding Breast cancer patients confront many stressors. The most impactful is the diagnosis itself (Andrykowski, Cordova, Studts & Miller, 1998; Glanz & Lerman, 1992; Stanton & Snider, 1993). However, the medical procedures that follow the diagnosis are also stressful, as are the side-effects of the treatment (Hann, Jacobsen, Martin, Azzarello & Greenberg, 1998; Jacobsen, Bovbjerg & Redd, 1993, 1995; Kaplan, 1994; Longman, Braden & Mishel, 1996). Beyond the physical challenges of treat- ment, breast cancer patients experience a variety of psychological threats and losses (e.g., Deadman, Dewey, Owens, Leinster & Slade, 1989; Schag et al., 1993). Improvement in medicine and changes in the psychological climate surrounding cancer have helped blunt the impact of breast cancer and its treatment. In the absence Correspondence: Charles S. Carver, Department of Psychology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 248185, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0751. Tel.: 305-284-2817. Fax: 305-284-3402. E-mail: Ccarver@miami.edu ISSN 0887-0446 print/ISSN 1476-8321 online ß 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd DOI: 10.1080/08870440512331317634
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of any psychiatric history, severe psychiatric symptoms are fairly rare among early stage breast cancer patients (patients with good prognoses), though are more likely among patients with more advanced cancers (for reviews see Glanz & Lerman, 1992; Irvine, Brown, Crooks, Roberts & Browne, 1991; Moyer & Salovey, 1996). The experience of early stage breast cancer is now widely seen as a life crisis with diverse ramifications (Spencer et al., 1999) which is weathered by most patients within about a year post-surgery (Andersen, Anderson & deProsse, 1989; Carver et al., 1993). Although the cancer experience is distressing and disruptive, there is an increasing awareness in both research and clinical communities that there often are aspects of the experience that patients view as positive or beneficial. Many patients report outcomes such as improved personal resources, enhanced sense of purpose, greater spirituality, closer relations with others, and changes in life priorities (e.g., Andrykowski, Brady
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2011 for the course PSYCH 212 taught by Professor Dansullivan during the Spring '11 term at NYU.

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cancer benefits - Psychology and Health April, 2005, 20(2):...

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