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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • mindfulness;
  • repression;
  • suppression;
  • symptoms;
  • mood

Objective

This study sought to identify relationships between trait mindfulness, repressive, and suppressive emotional styles, and the relative importance of these traits in their association with self-reported psychological health among women with breast cancer.

Method

Of the 277 women with breast cancer accrued in the study, 227 (81.9%) completed a set of questionnaires assessing personality traits, stress symptoms, and mood.

Results

High levels of mindfulness were associated with fewer stress-related symptoms and less mood disturbance, while high levels of suppression were associated with poorer self-reported health.

Conclusion

Individuals’ dispositional ways to manage negative emotions were associated with the experience of symptoms and aversive moods. Helping patients cultivate mindful insights and reduce deliberate emotional inhibition may be a useful focus for psycho-oncological interventions.