Introduction/Background Stress, self-esteem and self-rated health are important parameters which have been extensively studied in breast cancer research. However, the correlations between these variables and the proportion of patients experiencing different stress and self-esteem levels are foggy. The aim of this study was to search for correlations between perceived stress, self-esteem and Self-Rated Health (SRH), as well as for their relationship with sociodemographic parameters in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.
Methodology The data were collected from 100 patients with breast cancer. Sociodemographic variables, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), a 1–5 Lickert scale measuring SRH and the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSES) were administrated. Pearson's correlation, Independent Sample's t-test and ANOVA were utilized. Differences in RSES and PSS levels were presented using proportions based on indicated cut-offs.
Results The majority of patients were found to have normal self-esteem (72%), while a high proportion experienced low (38.4%) and mild perceived stress (34.3%). Severe stress was experienced only by 8.1% of the participants. The PSS and RSES scores were inversely correlated (P=0.005), while income satisfaction was positively correlated with SRH (P=0.000) and RSES (P=0.006), and inversely to PSS scores (P=0.033). There were also significant inverse associations between BMI and RSES (P=0.016) and between the number of children and PSS (P= 0.002). Higher PSS (P=0.032) and SRH (P=0.008) scores were recorded for those cohabitating. Finally, there was a significant association between smoking and SRH (P=0.021).
Conclusion Only a minority of the participants experienced severe stress, while most of them had normal self-esteem levels. Stress was inversely associated with self-esteem, having more children and a higher income. No relationship between SRH and stress was observed. Future research on the identification of related parameters and the development of interventional programs to address stress should be intensified.
Disclosure Nothing to disclose
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