Dissertation Abstract

Psychosocial Stress, Anxiety, Locus-of-Control and Breast Cancer.

Publication Number:  AG8816704
Author:  Higa, Beth
School:  United States International University
Date:  1988
Pages:  107
Subject:  Mammography, Patient Care

The problem. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between severe, self-reported stress such as the loss of an important person or relationship, anxiety, locus of control, social and certain biological factors, and the development of breast cancer in women.

Method. A comparative study was conducted. Eighty four female patients, above the age of 20, were interviewed and administered one questionnaire and three tests prior to having a mammogram (breast x ray). The questionnaire was used to obtain certain health and demographic information. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to assess level of anxiety, Rotter's Internal-External Locus of Control Inventory was used to determine locus of control, and the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, developed by Holmes and Rahe, was used to assess level of stressful events over a 15 year period. An additional question was asked to assess the presence or absence of severe loss. The mammograms were interpreted by Radiologists to determine the presence or absence of breast cancer.

Results. It was found that State Anxiety significantly differentiated between the "No Breast Cancer" and the "Possible Evidence of Breast Cancer" groups. Those in the "Possible Breast Cancer" group scored significantly higher in level of State Anxiety. The "No Breast Cancer" and "Possible Breast Cancer" groups also significantly differed in age and menopause. Those in the "Possible Breast Cancer" group were older and were post menopausal.

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