Abstract/Details

Living with breast cancer: The psychological benefits of practicing health -promoting behaviors


2007 2007

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Abstract (summary)

Breast cancer remains a highly and extremely stressful experience for hundreds of thousands of women each year in the United States and around the world. As treatment improves and mortality rates decline, more and more women are living with breast cancer and the threat of recurrence. One of the major problems generated by cancer survival is the duration of uncertainty; it is usually many years before the patient can feel safe from the cancer returning. For many breast cancer survivors, the need for control over their health and course of disease has inspired them to practice a healthier lifestyle. Cancer research is rich with studies that have provided a picture of the emotional and social impact of breast cancer and the psychosocial interventions that decreases the patients' distress and enhances their quality of life. However, very few studies have examined the psychological benefit to practicing health-enhancing behaviors for long-term breast cancer survivors.

The current archival study examined whether practicing health-enhancing behaviors was related to positive psychological functioning, including less fear of recurrence for long-term breast cancer survivors. For the purpose of this study, health behaviors, also referred to as complementary or alternative medicine, were defined as healthful diet practices including vitamin use, herbal remedies, traditional folk remedies and potentially stress-reducing activities, such meditation, yoga, massage therapy, and visualization, among others. Results indicated breast cancer survivors who engaged in traditional folk remedies and/or current activities/groups with potential to reduce stress had higher psychological functioning than those who did not. In addition, use of traditional folk remedies and participation in activities/groups were associated with perceived feelings of control with use of traditional folk remedies having slightly more impact than engagement in activities or groups. Although marginally significant, participation in activities or groups was shown to have some impact on fear of recurrence. Findings of the study provided initial evidence that breast cancer survivors who engaged in traditional folk remedies and/or current activities/groups had higher psychological functioning than those who did not.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Psychotherapy;
Oncology
Classification
0622: Psychotherapy
0992: Oncology
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Psychology; Adjustment; Breast cancer; Health-promoting behaviors; Psychological benefits
Title
Living with breast cancer: The psychological benefits of practicing health -promoting behaviors
Author
Davila-Woolsey, Marie
Number of pages
96
Publication year
2007
Degree date
2007
School code
0075
Source
DAI-B 68/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549162414
Advisor
Zea, Maria-Cecilia
University/institution
The George Washington University
University location
United States -- District of Columbia
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3275137
ProQuest document ID
304877338
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304877338
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