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J Psychosom Res. 1996 Mar;40(3):255-64.

Are coping strategies related to disease outcome in early breast cancer?

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Division of Psychosocial Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.


A consecutive series of 107 women with early breast cancer were investigated for coping strategies and disease outcome 5 to 6 years after primary surgical treatment (mastectomy or lumpectomy). Coping was assessed several times during a 3-year investigation period by the Zurich and Freiburg Questionnaires of Coping with Illness (ZQCI, FQCI). Data analysis revealed no significant correlations between coping strategies and the target variable "death from breast cancer". However, significant relations were found between postsurgical tumour size (p < or = 0.01), positive histological node status (p < or = 0.01) and death from breast cancer. The results of a discriminant analysis also indicated that somatic parameters are more important for the course of breast cancer disease than psychological aspects of coping. The role of psychosocial variables for the outcome of cancer disease remains unclear and further studies in this field are necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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