Self-efficacy for coping with symptoms moderates the relationship between physical symptoms and well-being in breast cancer survivors taking adjuvant endocrine therapy.
PURPOSE: This study examined the relationships between physical symptoms, self-efficacy for coping with symptoms, and functional, emotional, and social well-being in women who were taking adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer. METHODS: One hundred and twelve women who were taking adjuvant endocrine therapy (tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor) for breast cancer completed measures of physical symptoms, self-efficacy for coping with symptoms, and functional, social, and emotional well-being at the time of routine medical follow-up (women were on average 3.4 years post-surgery; range 3 months to 11 years). RESULTS: Multiple linear regression analyses showed that higher self-efficacy for coping with symptoms was associated with greater functional, emotional, and social well-being after controlling for physical symptoms (p < 0.05). Self-efficacy for coping with symptoms moderated the relationship between physical symptoms and functional (B = 0.05, SE = 0.02, t = 2.67, p = 0.009) and emotional well-being (B = 0.03, SE = 0.01, t = 2.45, p = 0.02). As self-efficacy increased, the relationship between greater physical symptoms and lower well-being became weaker. Among women with high levels of self-efficacy, physical symptoms were not related to functional and emotional well-being. CONCLUSIONS: Self-efficacy for coping with symptoms may reduce the negative impact of physical symptoms and contribute to well-being in breast cancer survivors taking adjuvant endocrine therapy. Future studies could examine whether psychosocial interventions aimed at increasing self-efficacy for managing symptoms help women better cope with treatment side effects and improve quality of life.
Shelby, RA; Edmond, SN; Wren, AA; Keefe, FJ; Peppercorn, JM; Marcom, PK; Blackwell, KL; Kimmick, GG
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