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Women Health. 2012;52(5):503-16. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2012.679337.

Posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth in breast cancer patients: a systematic review.

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Department of Psychology, Panteion University, 136 Syngrou Avenue, Athens, Greece.


Breast cancer, potentially a traumatic stressor, may be accompanied by negative outcomes, such as posttraumatic stress disorder or positive changes, such as posttraumatic growth. The authors reviewed 24 studies published from 1990 to 2010 that measured posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth in women with breast cancer, in terms of frequency rates, factors associated with posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth, and their interrelationships. A relatively small percentage of women experienced posttraumatic stress disorder, while the majority of them reported posttraumatic growth. Age, education, economic status, subjective appraisal of the threat of the disease, treatment, support from significant others, and positive coping strategies were among the most frequently reported factors associated with these phenomena. Moreover, posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth were not related. Future research should shed more light on posttraumatic growth and posttraumatic stress disorder among women with breast cancer, the parameters that influence them, and their possible relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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