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Health Psychol. 2005 Sep;24(5):508-16.

Optimistic personality and psychosocial well-being during treatment predict psychosocial well-being among long-term survivors of breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of PsychologyUniversity of Miami, Miami, FL 33124-2070, USA.


In considering well-being among survivors of life-threatening illnesses such as breast cancer, 2 important questions are whether there is continuity between initial adjustment and longer term adjustment and what role personality plays in long-term adjustment. In this research, a sample of 163 early stage breast cancer patients whose psychosocial adjustment was first assessed during the year after surgery completed the same measures 5-13 years after surgery. Initial reports of well-being were relatively strong predictors of follow-up well-being on the same measures. Initial optimism and marital status also predicted follow-up adjustment, even controlling for earlier adjustment, which exerted a substantial unique effect in multivariate analyses. In contrast, initial medical variables played virtually no predictive role. There is substantial continuity of subjective well-being across many years among survivors of breast cancer, rooted partly in personality and social connection.

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