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Health Care Women Int. 1992 Jan-Mar;13(1):23-32.

Women, breast lump discovery, and associated stress.

Abstract

To learn about anxiety experienced by women before they undergo breast biopsy, we surveyed by telephone 42 females aged 18 or over who were scheduled for this procedure. Unlike other studies, the present investigation explores retrospectively the impact of the discovery of a breast lump, hospitalization, and factors that aggravate and alleviate anxiety. An interview guide and an adaptation of the Spielberger, Gorsuch, and Lushene (1970) State Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale were used for data collection. The stress and coping models developed by Lazarus and Launier (1978) and Lazarus and Folkman (1984) contributed to the conceptual framework used in this study. Findings indicate that the anxiety levels of women after the discovery of a breast lump and prior to knowledge of biopsy results were extremely high. Age and time delay in contacting the physician had a statistically significant relationship on the participants' stress levels. The findings provide information that contributes to understanding the problem of anxiety originating from the discovery of a breast lump.

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