Post-traumatic growth among elderly women with breast cancer compared to breast cancer-free women

Sofie Andersen Brix, Pernille Envold Bidstrup, Jane Christensen, Nina Rottmann, Anja Olsen, Anne Tjønneland, Christoffer Johansen, Susanne Oksbjerg Dalton*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


    Background. Although breast cancer (BC) may have negative psychological sequelae, it may also be experienced as an existential challenge, which can derive personal growth. Only one study has been conducted, however, on whether women with BC experience more post-traumatic growth (PTG) than BC-free women. We examined PTG in women with and without BC and whether the characteristics and treatment of BC were associated with PTG. Material and methods. We used data from the questionnaire administered in the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort and included 774 women with BC and 666 randomly sampled BC-free women aged 63-81 years. PTG was measured with the PTG inventory, for which the women identified their own traumatic or life-changing event. Linear regression was used to compare PTG in women with and without BC and to examine the association between BC characteristics and treatment and PTG. Results. Although women with BC experienced significantly more PTG in the domains 'appreciation of life' and 'relating to others' compared to BC-free women, no statistically significant difference in overall PTG was observed according to BC status, indicating that PTG is not limited to women with BC. Tumor size, number of positive lymph nodes, having undergone mastectomy and having received endocrine treatment were positively associated with overall PTG and/or specific PTG domains, implying that the severity of disease plays a role in the development of PTG. Conclusion. In order to avoid unnecessary pressure for personal growth, healthcare professionals should not expect that women with BC experience more PTG than BC-free women.

    Sider (fra-til)345-354
    Antal sider10
    TidsskriftActa Oncologica
    Udgave nummer2
    StatusUdgivet - 1 feb. 2013


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