Stress, subjective appraisals and anticipation in the context of breast cancer screening.

Title: Stress, subjective appraisals and anticipation in the context of breast cancer screening.
Authors: Sweet, Lisa.
Date: 1998
Abstract: The study of stress related to real-life potential future events is sparse. Evidence suggests that future events can be meaningfully appraised and generate consequential levels of psychological stress as they are anticipated. The goals of this study were to investigate changes in stress and appraisals over time in a prospective way and to test a novel formulation of anticipation, within the context of a true stressor. Participants were women undergoing routine breast cancer screening as part of a provincially funded program. From the original sample (n = 606), women were divided into normal (negative, n = 541) and abnormal (false-positive, n = 65) groups and completed measures of stress and cognitive appraisals at four critical time points: (1) prior to the screening, (2) one day after the screening, (3) 20 days after screening and (4) at a three-months post-screen follow-up. A comparison group (n = 119) of women not currently undergoing screening was also included in the study. Anovas revealed a significant decrease in stress for negatives and false-positives reported more stress than negatives at Time 2. As for appraisals, manovas showed that for negatives perceived impact and perceived uncertainty decreased while perceived mastery increased throughout the process. For false-positives, there was an increase in perceived impact from Time 1 to Time 2, then a decrease from Time 3 to Time 4. False-positives reported more perceived impact and perceived uncertainty than negatives at Time 2 and Time 3. In terms of anticipation, we showed that women seemed to appraise the potential event more negatively at the outset and then experienced a decrease in stress. Additional analyses also revealed that the Clinical Breast Exam results can have a profound impact on women's experience of screening. The research and clinical implications of these findings, as well as the strengths and limitations of the present study are reviewed in the discussion.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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