Understanding the roles of patient symptoms and subjective appraisals in well-being among breast cancer patients

Adrian N.S. Badana, Victoria R. Marino, Maureen E. Templeman, Susan C. McMillan, Cindy Tofthagen, Brent J. Small, William E. Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the roles of both patient symptoms, and subjective appraisals of stress (self-efficacy, symptom barriers, symptom distress), in understanding well-being (anxiety, depression, cancer-specific quality of life, mental health quality of life, and physical health quality of life) in breast cancer patients. Methods: We examined data from 104 female breast cancer patients. Using a stress process model, we hypothesized that while high levels of patient symptoms would be associated with poorer patient well-being, these effects would be mediated by subjective appraisals, including patient self-efficacy, perceived symptom barriers, and symptom distress. Results: As expected, higher levels of patient symptoms were associated with poorer well-being on all five indicators. Subjective appraisals of stress added significantly to predictors of well-being, and were mediators of this relationship across all five outcomes. Conclusions: While patient symptoms are important predictors of patient well-being, subjective appraisals of the stressfulness of symptoms, and of patients’ self-efficacy in managing symptoms, are also key factors. The findings suggest the utility of a stress process model in understanding well-being in breast cancer patients, and point to the potential value of targeting patient appraisals as well as symptoms to improve psychological well-being and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer symptoms
  • Oncology
  • Psychological distress
  • Stress appraisal
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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