Posttraumatic stress symptoms in breast cancer patients: Temporal evolution, predictors, and mediational models.

Autores UPV
Revista Journal of Traumatic Stress


This longitudinal study (N = 102 women with nonmetastatic breast cancer) evaluated the time course of PTSD symptomatology (PTSDs) at different stages of cancer diagnosis and treatment: during treatment, at the end of treatment, and at a 6-12 months follow-up. We also investigated probable predictors of PTSDs and fit of models of mediation. Results indicated that PTSDs remained relatively constant across all phases, showing only a significant decrease in avoidant symptoms at follow up at 6-12 months. There was a relation between PTSDs and psychosocial variables but not with sociodemographic or medical factors. Regression analyses showed that symptoms of acute stress, Type C behavioral pattern, trait dissociation, and the coping strategies of anxious preoccupation, cognitive avoidance, and hopelessness/helplessness were the best predictors of PTSDs. Of the mediation models tested, one fitted the data: the coping strategies of anxious preoccupation, cognitive avoidance, and helplessness/hopelessness mediated the relationship between Type C behavioral pattern and the onset of PTSD symptomatology. These results can help identify recently diagnosed cancer patients who are likely to benefit from psychological assistance.