Physical, psychological and social well-being of women with breast cancer: the influence of disease phase

Psychooncology. 2000 May-Jun;9(3):221-31. doi: 10.1002/1099-1611(200005/06)9:3<221::aid-pon456>;2-t.


While research exists on the well-being of women during a specific phase of breast cancer, little research exists in which researchers utilized the same instruments to examine differences in women's well-being, based on the phase of their breast cancer. Using a trajectory framework, the purpose of this study is to examine the differences in the physical and social well-being of women during the following breast cancer states: newly diagnosed, adjuvant therapy, stable disease and recurrent disease. The convenience sample consisted of 35 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, 52 women with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant therapy, 84 women whose breast cancer was considered stable and 64 women with recurrent breast cancer. Participants completed a packet of questionnaires which contained a demographic questionnaire, Short Form-36 (SF-36) Health Survey, a researcher designed (RD) questionnaire, Cancer Rehabilitation Evaluation System-Short Form (CARES-SF) and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and general linear F-tests were used to analyze the data. Differences were found across phases of disease on various subscales, including those representing perceived health states, overall impact, medical interactions, physical function, role function, fatigue, pain, social function and satisfaction with health. No significant differences were found between groups on the BSI subscales with the exception of somatization, global psychosocial measures, sexual and marital relation subscales. While individuals with recurrent disease often experienced more difficulties with their well-being than women in the other groups, women newly diagnosed and in the adjuvant group experienced more difficulties in select areas of well-being when compared with women in the stable group. Health care professionals need to recognize differences between groups to better meet the needs of patients with a breast cancer diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / etiology
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires