eISSN: 1644-4116
ISSN: 1429-8538
Psychoonkologia
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1/2011
vol. 15
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The role of resiliency in adjustment to cancer in women

Nina Ogińska-Bulik

Psychoonkologia 2011, 1: 16–24
Online publish date: 2012/02/23
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Background: Various factors determine adjustment to illness, including individual factors related to personality. One of them is resiliency, which is also understood as resistance or resourcefulness. Their role in a process of adjustment has not yet been explored in Polish studies. Therefore the aim of the study was to establish the role of resiliency in adjustment to cancer, expressed in acceptance of illness and adaptive coping strategies.

Material and methods: The study group included 60 women with breast cancer, who underwent surgical intervention of breast resection (mastectomy). The mean age was 56.33 years (SD = 11.16). Three methods were used in the study: the Resiliency Assessement Scale, the Acceptance of Illness Scale, and the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale – Mini-Mac.

Results: Examined women who underwent mastectomy reveal good adjustment to illness. Relatively high level of acceptance of illness and higher tendency to use adaptive coping strategy, such as fighting spirit and positive reinterpretation, but less – maladaptive, such as anxious preoccupation or helpless/hopeless confirmed it. Resiliency appeared the essential factor promoting adjustment to illness. Competencies to cope and tolerance of negative emotions (factor 3 of resiliency) seem to play the particular role in this process.

Conclusions: Resiliency is a factor significantly related to adjustment to illness, what has implications for clinical practice, among them psychological rehabilitation persons with cancer. Therefore resiliency should be developed, not only because of the present state of health, but also to better cope with future negative life events.
keywords:

resiliency, acceptance of illness, adjustment to cancer, women, mastectomy

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