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Illness perception of breast cancer in affected women undergoing chemotherapy

Author(s): Hossein Shabahang | Ghazal Panahi | Gholamhossein Noferesti | Helen Sahebghalam | Somaieh Robubiat | Molood Bolurian

Journal: Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran
ISSN 1016-1430

Volume: 25;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 76;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: breast neoplasm/therapy | chemotherapy | illness perception | revised illness perception

 Abstract Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the various aspects of illness perceptions about breast cancer in affected patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study enrolled 140 patients with breast cancer in their chemotherapy period within 14 months. The revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (revised IPQ) was used to assess the disease representations of breast cancer. The data were analyzed by SPSS v.18 software. Results: The mean age of participants was 49.3±10.3 years. There was no significant correlation among the various items of illness perception of breast cancer in the affected patients with the demographic and clinicopathologic stages of the disease (P>0.05). The present study explored breast cancer to identity component 2.1(less symptoms attributed to cancer), timeline component 2.86 (encountered to a acute illness), treatment control 3.21 (less therapeutic belief), illness coherence 3.29 (less knowledge about cancer), serious consequences 2.79 (not attributing too much grave results), personal control 3.43 (illness controllable by the personal measures) and emotional representations 2.90 (emotionally good). Also most of our patients attributed stress as the cause of breast cancer (93.6%).The internal consistency of revised IPQ was 0.84 (Cronbach alpha). Conclusion: The patients affected with breast cancer perceived their illness to be short with better personal controllability. They had optimistic views towards the personal, familial and social implications of their illness. Also our patients showed less distress, anger and disappointment while being less optimistic about the treatment modalities and less coherent about their illness.

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