Table 9

A list of studies on psychological distress and quality of life in breast cancer patients (1974–2007)

Author (s) [Ref.]


Main focus


Ferrero et al. [179]


Mental adjustment to cancer in newly-diagnosed non-mtastatic breast cancer(an xploratory study)

Strong association between mental adjustment to cancer and reported vague physical symptoms; fighting spirit and denial was associated with better QOL and helpless/hopeless and anxious preoccupation and fatalism were negatively correlated with well-being.

Ganz et al. [180]


Psychosocial concerns 2 and 3 years after primary treatment

Problems associated with physical and recreational activities, body image, and sexual functions were observed, although many positive aspects from cancer experience were reported.

Maunsell et al. [181]


Brief psychological intervention vs. Brief psychological intervention + psychological distress screening

Distress screening did not improve QOL. Minimal psychological intervention at initial treatment alone was recommended.

Andrykowski et al. [182]


Psychological adjustment in women with breast cancer or benign breast problems

Breast cancer patients reported poorer physical health but greater positive psychosocial adaptation and improved life outlook, no difference in psychological distress between two groups.

Marchioro et al. [183]


Evaluation of the impact of a psychological intervention vs. standard care in non-metastatic breast cancer patients

Cognitive psychotherapy and family counseling improved both depression and QOL indexes.

Weitzner et al. [184]


QOL and mood in long-term breast cancer survivors

Psychological measures were found to be more robust predictors of QOL than the demographic variables; long-term survivors continue to experience significant depression and lower QOL.

Kissane et al. [185]


Psychological morbidity in early-stage breast cancer

45% (135/303) had psychiatric disorder, 42% had depression, anxiety or both; QOL was substantially affected.

Bloom et al. [186]


Intrusiveness of illness in young women with newly-diagnosed breast cancer

Intrusiveness of illness mediated the effect of disease and treatment factors on QOL; neither time post-diagnosis nor type of treatment affected the psychological component of QOL.

Longman et al. [187]


Psychological adjustment over time

Over time depression burden and anxiety burden persist and each was negatively associated with overall and present QOL.

Cotton et al. [188]


Relationship among spiritual well-being, QOL, and psychological adjustment

Spiritual well-being was correlated with both QOL and psychological adjustment, but relationship was found to be more complex and indirect than previously considered.

Ashing-Giwa [189]


Psychological outcome in long-term survivors of breast cancer (focus on African-American)

Patients relied on spiritual faith and family support to cope; socio-cultural contexts of the women's lives need to be considered when studying QOL.

Lewis et al. [190]


Cancer-related intrusive thoughts and social support

In women with social support cancer-related intrusive thoughts had no significant negative impact on QOL, but in women with low social support there was negative effect on QOL.

Amir and Ramati [191]


Post-traumatic distress disorder (PTSD), QOL, and emotional distress in long term survivors of breast cancer and a control group

Higher PSTD, emotional distress and lower QOL in breast cancer mainly due to chemotherapy and disease stage.

Ganz et al. [192]


Psychosocial adjustment 15 months after diagnosis in older women with breast cancer

Psychosocial adjustment at 15 months was predicted by better mental health, emotional social support and better self-rated interaction with health care providers.

Bordeleau et al. [193]


Randomized trial of group psychological support vs. control in metastatic breast cancer

Supportive-expressive group therapy did not appear to influence QOL.

Badger et al. [194]


Depression burden and psychological adjustment

Depression burden had negative effect on psychological adjustment and QOL.

Schreier and Williams [195]


Anxiety in women receiving either radiation or chemotherapy for breast cancer

No significant differences for total QOL or any subscales by treatment; trait anxiety was higher for chemotherapy patients; state anxiety was high and did not decrease over the course of the treatment for either group.

Kershaw et al. [196]


Coping strategies in advanced breast cancer patients and their family caregivers

Patients use more emotional support, religion and positive reframing strategies while family use more alcohol or drug. In both active coping was associated with higher QOL.

Lehto et al. [197]


Psychological stress factors as predictors of QOL in patients receiving surgery alone vs. adjuvant treatment

Psychosocial factors were strongest predictors of QOL but not cancer type or treatment; non-cancer related stresses showed strongest QOL decreasing influence.

Roth et al. [198]


Affective distress in women seeking immediate vs. delayed breast reconstruction after mastectomy

Women seeking immediate breast reconstruction showed relatively higher psychological impairment and physical disability.

Okamura et al. [199]


Psychiatric disorders and associated factors after first breast cancer recurrence

Patients' psychiatric disorders were associated with lower QOL.

Golden-Kreutz et al. [200]


Traumatic stress, perceived global stress, and life events

Initial stress at diagnosis predicted both psychological and physical health at follow-up.

Deshields et al. [201]


Emotional adjustment (at 4 points in time)

Primary psychological changes occur quickly after treatment conclusion and then it appeared to become stabled.

Laid law et al. [202]


Self-hypnosis or Japanese healing or. control

Positive change in anxiety level, a general increase in mood and a better QOL were observed.

Schou et al. [203]


Dispositional optimism and QOL.

Optimism was predictive for better emotional and social functioning one year after surgery; at time of diagnosis and throughout post-diagnosis dispositional optimism was associated with better QOL and fewer symptoms.

Grabsch et al. [204]


Psychological morbidity in advanced breast cancer

42% (97/277) had a psychiatric disorder, 36% depression or anxiety or both. QOL was substantially affected.

Antoni et al. [205]


Stress management after treatment for breast cancer

Stress management skill taught had beneficial effects on reduced social disruption, and increased emotional well-being, positive states of mind, benefit finding, positive lifestyle change, and positive affect.

Wonghongkul et al. [206]


Uncertainty appraisal coping

Social support was used most to cope and confront-coping used the least; year of survival, uncertainty in illness and harm appraisal influenced QOL.

Yen et al. [207]


Depression and stress in breast cancer versus benign tumor

Stress from health problem was the most significant predictor for QOL among malignant group.

Costanzo et al. [208]


Adjustment to life after treatment

While breast cancer survivors demonstrated good adjustment on general distress following treatment, some women were at risk for sustained distress.

Wong and Fielding [209]


Change in psychological distress and change in QOL

The magnitude of change in psychological distress significantly impacted physical and functional, but not social QOL in breast cancer patients.

Meneses et al. [210]


Psycho-educational intervention and QOL

Breast cancer education intervention is an effective intervention in improving QOL during the first year of breast cancer survivorship.

Montazeri Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2008 27:32   doi:10.1186/1756-9966-27-32

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