Anticipatory psychological distress in women scheduled for diagnostic and curative breast cancer surgery

Julie B. Schnur, Guy H. Montgomery, Michael N. Hallquist, Alisan B. Goldfarb, Jeffrey H. Silverstein, Christina R. Weltz, Alexis V. Kowalski, Dana H. Bovbjerg

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Abstract

Background: Psychological distress is a central experience for women facing diagnostic and curative breast cancer surgery. Purpose: The present study was designed to predict anticipatory distress in 187 women scheduled to undergo excisional breast biopsy or lumpectomy. Method: Participants completed questionnaires assessing emotional distress and predictors of this distress (surgery type, worry about the surgical procedure, and worry about what the surgeon will find). Results: The study found that lumpectomy patients experienced greater anticipatory distress than excisional breast biopsy patients on three of the four distress measures (all ps < 0.05) and that worry about what the surgeon might find partially mediated these effects. Conclusion: The results suggest that although women awaiting lumpectomy are more distressed than women awaiting biopsy, both groups report substantial distress, and, consequently, psychosocial interventions are recommended for both groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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    Schnur, J. B., Montgomery, G. H., Hallquist, M. N., Goldfarb, A. B., Silverstein, J. H., Weltz, C. R., Kowalski, A. V., & Bovbjerg, D. H. (2008). Anticipatory psychological distress in women scheduled for diagnostic and curative breast cancer surgery. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 15(1), 21-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705500701783843