Changes in psychological distress of women in long-term remission from breast cancer in two different geographical settings: a randomized study.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

PubMedID: 14574621

Andritsch E, Goldzweig G, Samonigg H, Uziely B, Ever-Hadani P, HOFFMAN G, Krenn G, Baider L. Changes in psychological distress of women in long-term remission from breast cancer in two different geographical settings: a randomized study. Support Care Cancer. 2004;12(1):10-8.
GOALS OF WORK
Psychological distress and coping styles in women diagnosed with stages I and II breast cancer have attracted substantial clinical and research attention over the last several decades. The contradictory and, at times, controversial findings stimulated the present randomized research whose purpose was to explore the possibility and probability of predicting which variables affect the psychological distress level of women with breast cancer 1 to 5 years after diagnosis (time period 1) and 6 to 8 months after period 1 (time period 2).

PATIENTS AND METHODS
The study was conducted in two large oncology centers in Graz, Austria, and Jerusalem, Israel, with a sample population comprising 424 patients.

MAIN RESULTS
The only variables that significantly predicted change in the psychological distress levels (Grand Severity Index, GSI; except for the GSI level during period 1) were Fighting Spirit (Mental Adjustment to Cancer, MAC) in the Graz sample and Perceived Family Support (PFS) in the Jerusalem sample. These results are discussed in relation to other findings.

CONCLUSIONS
In light of these findings, it is highly important to preliminarily identify women with less adaptive psychological coping mechanisms and to provide them with efficacy tools for behavioral and cognitive changes within their own network of social and health resources.