Optimistábbá tesz-e a betegség? Emlodaganatos betegek és egészséges kontrollszemélyek interjú kérdésekre adott válaszainak összehasonlí tása

Translated title of the contribution: Does illness make you more optimistic? Comparing the interview answers of breast cancer patients and healthy women

Anna Mersdorf, Adrienn Vargay, Z. Horváth, Éva Bányai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Research has revealed many correlations between optimism and mental and physical health. The concept of optimism is a complex notion defined by researchers mainly as positive expectations about the future; however, unrealistic-and situation-specific optimism and hope can also be considered to be part of this concept. In the case of breast cancer patients, optimism correlates with lower levels of anxiety and distress, higher levels of well-being and social support, and post-traumatic growth. Aim: The aim of our study was to explore and compare the (past-year and life-time) psychological well-being and variations in the levels of optimism and pessimism of healthy women and breast cancer patients. Our further aim was to examine during the 5-year follow-up, whether optimistic/pessimistic attitudes correlate with survival. The long-term aim of our study was to contribute to the more effective (and holistic) prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Method: Twenty-eight Hungarian breast cancer patients and 28 matched healthy women were interviewed by a newly developed, structured interview (Complex Structured Interview for Breast Cancer Patients). The answers were analyzed using qualitative content analysis based on the Grounded Theory Method. Results: According to our results, both the breast cancer patients and the healthy women were psychologically well during their life, but significant difference appeared between the two groups regarding psychological well-being in the year before the interview: breast cancer patients felt worse than healthy woman (p = 0.022), but showed a more optimistic attitude (p = 0.003). The results of the 5-year follow-up did not show significant correlation between optimistic/pessimistic attitudes and survival. Conclusions: In spite of their significantly worse psychological well-being, a more optimistic attitude is apparent in the group of breast cancer patients compared to healthy women. This optimism can be explained as a defense mechanism but as an adaptive coping mechanism as well.

Original languageHungarian
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalMentalhigiene es Pszichoszomatika
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2014

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Interviews
Breast Neoplasms
Psychology
Hope
Survival
Defense Mechanisms
Social Support
Optimism
Mental Health
Anxiety
Research Personnel
Growth
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Optimistábbá tesz-e a betegség? Emlodaganatos betegek és egészséges kontrollszemélyek interjú kérdésekre adott válaszainak összehasonlí tása. / Mersdorf, Anna; Vargay, Adrienn; Horváth, Z.; Bányai, Éva.

In: Mentalhigiene es Pszichoszomatika, Vol. 15, No. 2, 01.06.2014, p. 85-108.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Research has revealed many correlations between optimism and mental and physical health. The concept of optimism is a complex notion defined by researchers mainly as positive expectations about the future; however, unrealistic-and situation-specific optimism and hope can also be considered to be part of this concept. In the case of breast cancer patients, optimism correlates with lower levels of anxiety and distress, higher levels of well-being and social support, and post-traumatic growth. Aim: The aim of our study was to explore and compare the (past-year and life-time) psychological well-being and variations in the levels of optimism and pessimism of healthy women and breast cancer patients. Our further aim was to examine during the 5-year follow-up, whether optimistic/pessimistic attitudes correlate with survival. The long-term aim of our study was to contribute to the more effective (and holistic) prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Method: Twenty-eight Hungarian breast cancer patients and 28 matched healthy women were interviewed by a newly developed, structured interview (Complex Structured Interview for Breast Cancer Patients). The answers were analyzed using qualitative content analysis based on the Grounded Theory Method. Results: According to our results, both the breast cancer patients and the healthy women were psychologically well during their life, but significant difference appeared between the two groups regarding psychological well-being in the year before the interview: breast cancer patients felt worse than healthy woman (p = 0.022), but showed a more optimistic attitude (p = 0.003). The results of the 5-year follow-up did not show significant correlation between optimistic/pessimistic attitudes and survival. Conclusions: In spite of their significantly worse psychological well-being, a more optimistic attitude is apparent in the group of breast cancer patients compared to healthy women. This optimism can be explained as a defense mechanism but as an adaptive coping mechanism as well.",
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AB - Background: Research has revealed many correlations between optimism and mental and physical health. The concept of optimism is a complex notion defined by researchers mainly as positive expectations about the future; however, unrealistic-and situation-specific optimism and hope can also be considered to be part of this concept. In the case of breast cancer patients, optimism correlates with lower levels of anxiety and distress, higher levels of well-being and social support, and post-traumatic growth. Aim: The aim of our study was to explore and compare the (past-year and life-time) psychological well-being and variations in the levels of optimism and pessimism of healthy women and breast cancer patients. Our further aim was to examine during the 5-year follow-up, whether optimistic/pessimistic attitudes correlate with survival. The long-term aim of our study was to contribute to the more effective (and holistic) prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Method: Twenty-eight Hungarian breast cancer patients and 28 matched healthy women were interviewed by a newly developed, structured interview (Complex Structured Interview for Breast Cancer Patients). The answers were analyzed using qualitative content analysis based on the Grounded Theory Method. Results: According to our results, both the breast cancer patients and the healthy women were psychologically well during their life, but significant difference appeared between the two groups regarding psychological well-being in the year before the interview: breast cancer patients felt worse than healthy woman (p = 0.022), but showed a more optimistic attitude (p = 0.003). The results of the 5-year follow-up did not show significant correlation between optimistic/pessimistic attitudes and survival. Conclusions: In spite of their significantly worse psychological well-being, a more optimistic attitude is apparent in the group of breast cancer patients compared to healthy women. This optimism can be explained as a defense mechanism but as an adaptive coping mechanism as well.

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