Psychosocial responses to treatment for breast cancer among lesbian and heterosexual women

Patricia L. Arena, Charles S Carver, Michael H Antoni, Sharlene Weiss, Gail Ironson, Ron E. Durán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study compared the experiences of 39 self-identified lesbians and 39 heterosexual women who had recently been treated for breast cancer. They were matched by age, stage of disease, time since diagnosis, and ethnicity. Data were collected by a questionnaire completed at home and returned by mail. Variables assessed included emotional adjustment, thought intrusion and avoidance, perceived quality of life, concerns about breast cancer, benefit finding, relationship and sexual disruption, psychosexual adjustment, social support, and coping. Compared to the heterosexual women, lesbians reported less thought avoidance, lower levels of sexual concern, less concern about their appearance, and less disruption in sexual activity, but also substantially lower perceptions of benefit from having had cancer. Lesbians reported less social connection to family, but no group difference emerged in connection to friends. Lesbians reported less denial coping, and more use of support from friends, more venting, and more positive reframing. Better understanding of the similarities and differences between groups will help address the relevant clinical issues appropriately, in order to optimize psychosocial adjustment to breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
JournalWomen and Health
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Fingerprint

Heterosexuality
cancer
Breast Neoplasms
Social Adjustment
coping
Postal Service
Therapeutics
Sexual Behavior
Social Support
social support
quality of life
ethnicity
Group
Quality of Life
Disease
Sexual Minorities
questionnaire
Neoplasms
experience

Keywords

  • Benefit finding
  • Breast cancer
  • Coping
  • Lesbian
  • Psychosexual
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Gender Studies

Cite this

Psychosocial responses to treatment for breast cancer among lesbian and heterosexual women. / Arena, Patricia L.; Carver, Charles S; Antoni, Michael H; Weiss, Sharlene; Ironson, Gail; Durán, Ron E.

In: Women and Health, Vol. 44, No. 2, 01.12.2006, p. 81-102.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{addb0cb67b134c4f88c412950f74dbe5,
title = "Psychosocial responses to treatment for breast cancer among lesbian and heterosexual women",
abstract = "This study compared the experiences of 39 self-identified lesbians and 39 heterosexual women who had recently been treated for breast cancer. They were matched by age, stage of disease, time since diagnosis, and ethnicity. Data were collected by a questionnaire completed at home and returned by mail. Variables assessed included emotional adjustment, thought intrusion and avoidance, perceived quality of life, concerns about breast cancer, benefit finding, relationship and sexual disruption, psychosexual adjustment, social support, and coping. Compared to the heterosexual women, lesbians reported less thought avoidance, lower levels of sexual concern, less concern about their appearance, and less disruption in sexual activity, but also substantially lower perceptions of benefit from having had cancer. Lesbians reported less social connection to family, but no group difference emerged in connection to friends. Lesbians reported less denial coping, and more use of support from friends, more venting, and more positive reframing. Better understanding of the similarities and differences between groups will help address the relevant clinical issues appropriately, in order to optimize psychosocial adjustment to breast cancer.",
keywords = "Benefit finding, Breast cancer, Coping, Lesbian, Psychosexual, Social support",
author = "Arena, {Patricia L.} and Carver, {Charles S} and Antoni, {Michael H} and Sharlene Weiss and Gail Ironson and Dur{\'a}n, {Ron E.}",
year = "2006",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1300/J013v44n02_05",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "81--102",
journal = "Women and Health",
issn = "0363-0242",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Psychosocial responses to treatment for breast cancer among lesbian and heterosexual women

AU - Arena, Patricia L.

AU - Carver, Charles S

AU - Antoni, Michael H

AU - Weiss, Sharlene

AU - Ironson, Gail

AU - Durán, Ron E.

PY - 2006/12/1

Y1 - 2006/12/1

N2 - This study compared the experiences of 39 self-identified lesbians and 39 heterosexual women who had recently been treated for breast cancer. They were matched by age, stage of disease, time since diagnosis, and ethnicity. Data were collected by a questionnaire completed at home and returned by mail. Variables assessed included emotional adjustment, thought intrusion and avoidance, perceived quality of life, concerns about breast cancer, benefit finding, relationship and sexual disruption, psychosexual adjustment, social support, and coping. Compared to the heterosexual women, lesbians reported less thought avoidance, lower levels of sexual concern, less concern about their appearance, and less disruption in sexual activity, but also substantially lower perceptions of benefit from having had cancer. Lesbians reported less social connection to family, but no group difference emerged in connection to friends. Lesbians reported less denial coping, and more use of support from friends, more venting, and more positive reframing. Better understanding of the similarities and differences between groups will help address the relevant clinical issues appropriately, in order to optimize psychosocial adjustment to breast cancer.

AB - This study compared the experiences of 39 self-identified lesbians and 39 heterosexual women who had recently been treated for breast cancer. They were matched by age, stage of disease, time since diagnosis, and ethnicity. Data were collected by a questionnaire completed at home and returned by mail. Variables assessed included emotional adjustment, thought intrusion and avoidance, perceived quality of life, concerns about breast cancer, benefit finding, relationship and sexual disruption, psychosexual adjustment, social support, and coping. Compared to the heterosexual women, lesbians reported less thought avoidance, lower levels of sexual concern, less concern about their appearance, and less disruption in sexual activity, but also substantially lower perceptions of benefit from having had cancer. Lesbians reported less social connection to family, but no group difference emerged in connection to friends. Lesbians reported less denial coping, and more use of support from friends, more venting, and more positive reframing. Better understanding of the similarities and differences between groups will help address the relevant clinical issues appropriately, in order to optimize psychosocial adjustment to breast cancer.

KW - Benefit finding

KW - Breast cancer

KW - Coping

KW - Lesbian

KW - Psychosexual

KW - Social support

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33846693708&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33846693708&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1300/J013v44n02_05

DO - 10.1300/J013v44n02_05

M3 - Article

C2 - 17255060

AN - SCOPUS:33846693708

VL - 44

SP - 81

EP - 102

JO - Women and Health

JF - Women and Health

SN - 0363-0242

IS - 2

ER -