Hopelessness as a predictor of depressive symptoms for breast cancer patients coping with recurrence
Version of Record online: 13 AUG 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 267–275, March 2009
How to Cite
Brothers, B. M. and Andersen, B. L. (2009), Hopelessness as a predictor of depressive symptoms for breast cancer patients coping with recurrence. Psycho-Oncology, 18: 267–275. doi: 10.1002/pon.1394
- Issue online: 23 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 13 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 APR 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 15 APR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 5 FEB 2008
- social support;
- breast cancer recurrence;
Objective: The Hopelessness Theory of Depression provides the framework to test feelings of hopelessness and social support as predictors of depressive symptoms in women recently diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer.
Methods: Patients (N=67) were assessed within weeks of receiving their recurrence diagnosis (initial) and again 4 months later (follow-up).
Results: Controlling for their current physical and depressive symptoms, hopelessness at diagnosis was a significant predictor of the maintenance of depressive symptoms among patients. A corollary of the theory was also confirmed: social support (i.e. the presence/absence of a romantic partner) interacted with hopelessness.
Conclusions: Women who reported feelings of hopelessness and who were alone (i.e. without a partner) were especially vulnerable to later depressive symptoms. The data provide support for the Hopelessness Theory and suggest factors conferring risk for depressive symptoms for those coping with a worsened cancer prognosis. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.