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Psychol Health. 2014;29(6):651-70. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2014.881998. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

The impact of motherhood on perceived stress, illness intrusiveness and fear of cancer recurrence in young breast cancer survivors over time.

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1
a School of Psychology , University of Ottawa , Ottawa , Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Parenting while coping with breast cancer can be challenging for many young women, yet little is known about the impact of motherhood on their well-being over time.

DESIGN:

The first part of this study examined differences in perceived stress, illness intrusiveness and fear of cancer recurrence between young breast cancer survivors with and without children in two separate time frames (0-5 and 5-15 years since diagnosis). The second part identified determinants for these elements of well-being in young mothers exclusively.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Seven hundred and forty two young North American women previously diagnosed with breast cancer completed measures of perceived stress, illness intrusiveness, fear of cancer recurrence and parenting stress (mothers only) via a web-based survey.

RESULTS:

Compared to young survivors without children, young mothers reported higher levels of fear of cancer recurrence and illness intrusiveness in intimate life domains during both time frames. Part 2 revealed how maternal age, age of children, time since diagnosis and parenting stress impacted on well-being in this group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Young mothers with breast cancer need support to manage their fears of having a recurrence and to cope with problems in intimacy well into remission. This study identifies the most vulnerable groups of mothers.

PMID:
24410202
DOI:
10.1080/08870446.2014.881998
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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