ORIGINAL PAPER
Posttraumatic growth in women after breast cancer surgery – preliminary results from a study of Polish patients
 
More details
Hide details
Submission date: 2015-02-03
Final revision date: 2015-03-23
Acceptance date: 2015-05-03
Online publication date: 2015-07-13
Publication date: 2015-07-13
 
Health Psychology Report 2015;3(4):336–344
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
The aim of the study was to answer the following research questions: What percentage of women after breast cancer surgery experienced posttraumatic growth (PTG)? Which aspect of PTG was experienced to the greatest extent by the participants? Do age at the day of survey, age at diagnosis, time since diagnosis, type of surgery, non-surgical methods of treatment, participation in rehabilitation or physical activity significantly differentiate participants in PTG?

Participants and procedure
Forty-seven women after breast cancer surgery participated in the study. Posttraumatic growth was measured with the Polish version of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) consisting of 4 scales: Self-Perception (SP), Relating to Others (RO), Appreciation of Life (AL) and Spiritual Change (SC). The demographic, disease and treatment related variables were controlled.

Results
Forty-three percent of participants experienced high, 23% moderate, and 34% little or no PTG. Posttraumatic growth manifested itself mainly positive changes in relationships with others. Age at the day of the survey did not correlate significantly with scores of PTGI. Age at diagnosis correlated significantly with total PTG (ρ = –0.37, p = .012), SP (ρ = –0.33, p = .029), RO (ρ = –0.40, p = .008) and AL (ρ = –0.39, p = .010). Women aged ≤ 50 at the day of the survey had significantly higher scores of AL than women > 50 (U = 117.50, p = .042). Women who were physically active at the day of the survey had significantly higher scores in total PTG (U = 118.50, p = .008), SP (U = 7.28, p = .007) and RO (U = 108.00, p = .003). Time since diagnosis, type of treatment and participation in rehabilitation after the surgery did not differentiate respondents significantly in PTG.

Conclusions
Posttraumatic growth was experienced by a considerable percentage of participants. The average level of PTG was moderate. Women physically active at the time of the survey showed higher levels of PTG. We recommend that women after breast cancer surgery should be encouraged by medical staff, family and friends to undertake physical activity as soon as possible.
 
REFERENCES (35)
1.
Bellizzi, K. M., & Blank, T. O. (2006). Predicting posttraumatic growth in breast cancer survivors. Health Psychology, 25, 47-56.
 
2.
Brix, S. A., Bidstrup, P. E., Christensen, J., Rottmann, N., Olsen, A., Tjønneland, A., Johansen, C., & Dalton, S. O. (2013). Post-traumatic growth among elderly women with breast cancer compared to breast cancer-free women. Acta Oncologica, 52, 345-354.
 
3.
Bąk, M., & Cieśla, S. (2009). Ocena zaburzeń postawy ciała kobiet po radykalnej amputacji z jednoczasową rekonstrukcją piersi [Assessment of postural disorders in women after radical mastectomy followed by immediate breast reconstruction]. Fizjoterapia, 17, 30-37.
 
4.
Calhoun, L. G., & Tedeschi, R. G. (1998). Posttraumatic growth: Future directions. In: R. G. Tedeschi, C. L. Park, & L. G. Calhoun (eds.), Posttraumatic growth: Positive changes in the aftermath of crisis (pp. 215-238). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
 
5.
Cordova, M. J., Giese-Davis, J., Golant, M., Kronenwetter, C., Chang, V., & Spiegel, D. (2007). Breast cancer as trauma: Posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 14, 308-319.
 
6.
Day, M. C. (2013). The role of initial physical activity experiences in promoting posttraumatic growth in Paralympic athletes with an acquired disability. Disability & Rehabilitation, 35, 2064-2072.
 
7.
Fraser, M. (2003). Psychological Consequences of Cancer and Their Management. Current Medical Literature: Breast Cancer, 15, 61.
 
8.
Gandubert, C., Carrière, I., Escot, C., Soulier, M., Hermès, A., Boulet, P., Ritchie, K., & Chaudieu, I.
 
9.
(2009). Onset and relapse of psychiatric disorders following early breast cancer: a case-control study. Psycho‐Oncology, 18, 1029-1037.
 
10.
Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2009). Post‐traumatic growth and life threatening physical illness: A systematic review of the qualitative literature. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 343-378.
 
11.
Janoff-Bulman, R. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Three explanatory models. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 30-34.
 
12.
Kleim, B., & Ehlers, A. (2009). Evidence for a curvilinear relationship between posttraumatic growth and posttrauma depression and PTSD in assault survivors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22, 45-52.
 
13.
Koutrouli, N., Anagnostopoulos, F., & Potamianos, G. (2012). Posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth in breast cancer patients: a systematic review. Women & Health, 52, 503-516.
 
14.
Kozak, D., & Smoczyńska, M. (2012). Psychofizyczna rehabilitacja pacjentek w wieku podeszłym leczonych operacyjnie z powodu raka piersi [Psychophysical rehabilitation of elderly female patients after breast cancer surgery]. Hygeia, 47, 139-144.
 
15.
Kwakkenbos, L., Coyne, J. C., & Thombs, B. D. (2014). Prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women with breast cancer. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 76, 485-486.
 
16.
Love, C., & Sabiston, C. M. (2011). Exploring the links between physical activity and posttraumatic growth in young adult cancer survivors. Psycho‐Oncology, 20, 278-286.
 
17.
Manne, S., Ostroff, J., Winkel, G., Goldstein, L., Fox, K., & Grana, G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth after breast cancer: Patient, partner, and couple perspectives. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66, 442-454.
 
18.
Miller, A. B., Wall, C., Baines, C. J., Sun, P., To, T., & Narod, S. A. (2014). Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial. British Medical Journal, 348, g.366. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g366.
 
19.
Mols, F., Vingerhoets, A. J. J. M., Coebergh, J. W. W., & van de Poll-Franse, L. V. (2009). Well-being, posttraumatic growth and benefit finding in long-term breast cancer survivors. Psychology and Health, 24, 583-595.
 
20.
Mystakidou, K., Tsilika, E., Parpa, E., Kyriakopoulos, D., Malamos, N., & Damigos, D. (2008). Personal growth and psychological distress in advanced breast cancer. The Breast, 17, 382-386.
 
21.
O’Connor, M., Christensen, S., Jensen, A. B., Møller, S., & Zachariae, R. (2011). How traumatic is breast cancer? Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and risk factors for severe PTSS at 3 and 15 months after surgery in a nationwide cohort of Danish women treated for primary breast cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 104, 419-426.
 
22.
Ogińska-Bulik, N. (2011). Rola prężności psychicznej w przystosowaniu się kobiet do choroby nowotworowej [The role of resiliency in adjustment to cancer in women]. Psychoonkologia, 1, 16-24.
 
23.
Ogińska-Bulik, N., & Juczyński, Z. (2010). Rozwój potraumatyczny – charakterystyka i pomiar [Posttraumatic growth – characteristic and measurement]. Psychiatria, 7, 129-142.
 
24.
Piot‐Ziegler, C., Sassi, M. L., Raffoul, W., & Delaloye, J. (2010). Mastectomy, body deconstruction, and impact on identity: a qualitative study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 479-510.
 
25.
Rzepka, K., & Nowicki, A. (2010). Fatigue among breast cancer patients. Współczesna Onkologia-Contemporary Oncology, 14, 321-325.
 
26.
Sears, S. R., Stanton, A. L., & Danoff-Burg, S. (2003). The yellow brick road and the emerald city: benefit finding, positive reappraisal coping and posttraumatic growth in women with early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychology, 22, 487-497.
 
27.
Shelby, R. A., Golden‐Kreutz, D. M., & Andersen, B. L. (2008). PTSD diagnoses, subsyndromal symptoms, and comorbidities contribute to impairments for breast cancer survivors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21, 165-172.
 
28.
Stafford, L., Judd, F., Gibson, P., Komiti, A., Mann, G. B., & Quinn, M. (2013). Screening for depression and anxiety in women with breast and gynaecologic cancer: course and prevalence of morbidity over 12 months. Psycho‐Oncology, 22, 2071-2078.
 
29.
Suppli, N. P., Johansen, C., Christensen, J., Kessing, L. V., Kroman, N., & Dalton, S. O. (2014). Increased Risk for Depression After Breast Cancer: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study of Associated Factors in Denmark, 1998-2011. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 32, 3831-3839.
 
30.
Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1996). The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 455-471.
 
31.
Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 1-18.
 
32.
Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2007). A Clinical Approach to Posttraumatic Growth. In: P. A. Linley & S. Joseph (eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 230-248). Warsaw: PWN.
 
33.
Vodermaier, A., Linden, W., Rnic, K., Young, S. N., Ng, A., Ditsch, N., & Olson, R. (2014). Prospective associations of depression with survival: a population-based cohort study in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 143, 373-384.
 
34.
Weiss, T. (2004). Correlates of posttraumatic growth in married breast cancer survivors. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 733-746.
 
35.
Yang, D., Baumgartner, R. N., & Baumgartner, K. B. (2012). Posttraumatic Growth and Physical Activity Among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors. American Journal of Epidemiology, 175, S104.
 
eISSN:2353-5571
ISSN:2353-4184