Aims: Breast cancer, potentially a traumatic stressor, may be associated with negative outcomes, such as posttraumatic stress disorder or positive changes, such as posttraumatic growth. This study is aimed to analyse studies that measured post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), posttraumatic growth (PTG) and psychological distress associated with breast cancer survivors. This paper explains why PTG may interact with this ecology of circumstances in different ways.
Methods: The authors reviewed 75 studies published from 1985–2014 that discussed about breast cancer patients’ post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress and post-traumatic growth (PTG) in women in terms of frequency rates and factors.
Results: Multiple studies demonstrated that women with breast cancer have PTSD presents in initial stage of diagnosis, whereas, PTG develops once the patients gets use to treatment and the prognosis of the disease. Research has shown that PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C) in diagnosing PTSD in women with breast cancer. This study indicates needs for the early diagnosis of PTSD and provides psychological interventions designed for women with breast cancer. However, literature regarding characteristics of PTSD in patients with cancer is cross-sectional in nature.
Conclusions: Future research focusing on prospective studies to identify patients at risk, determines casual or aggravating factors, and develops preventive interventions is needed.