Illness meanings and perceptions of control and uncertainty in women with breast cancer

Baker, Pamela Margeret Faulkner (1994) Illness meanings and perceptions of control and uncertainty in women with breast cancer. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Illness Meanings and Perceptions of Control and Uncertainty in Women with Breast Cancer -- A descriptive correlational study with longitudinal and cross-sectional components was conducted to (a) describe the factors shaping meanings of breast cancer, and how meanings changed during treatment, and (b) investigate relationships among illness meanings, perceptions of control, uncertainty, feelings about the illness, and attitudes toward chemotherapy. Fifteen women were included in the longitudinal portion of the study and nine in the cross-sectional component. The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scales, Meaning of Illness Questionnaire Self-Report (MIQ-SR), Personal Profile Record and the Cancer Meaning Questionnaire (CMQ) were the data collection instruments. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Qualitative data were analyzed using the Constant Comparative Method of Analysis. -- Appraisals of the illness and treatment varied from initial treatment to follow-up and were influenced by perceptions of control, feelings about the illness, uncertainty and attitudes toward chemotherapy. Results from repeated measures AN0VA analyses indicated significant changes in Chance Health Locus of Control (X² 7.65, p <.02) and attitudes toward chemotherapy (X² 6.61, p <.03) . Step-wise multiple regression analysis indicated that internal locus of control beliefs and feelings about the illness and chemotherapy treatment were significant predictors of illness meanings. Attitudes toward chemotherapy were significant predictors of illness meaning over time. Qualitative data analyses supported findings from the Meaning of Illness factors as measured by the MIQ-SR Questionnaire. Results also suggest that nurses are perceived as primary sources of information and support. -- Key Words: breast cancer; meaning of illness; control; uncertainty; primary appraisal; secondary appraisal; coping; feelings/attitudes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5710
Item ID: 5710
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 152-161.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 1994
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Breast--Cancer--Psychological aspects; Cancer--Patients--Mental health; Cancer--Chemotherapy--Psychological aspects
Medical Subject Heading: Breast Neoplasms--psychology; Breast Neoplasms--drug therapy

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