Objective: To describe posttraumatic growth (PTG) levels and their influence factors among breast cancer patients, and describe the dynamic changes of PTG and psychological distress hospitalized breast cancer patients over a 9 months span after diagnosis.
Methods: There were 468 breast cancer patients who were in the rehabilitation period were investigated in a cross-sectional study, and 155 breast cancer patients who were receiving therapy in hospital were selected in the longitudinal study at 3 time points spaced 6 months apart. The baseline data were collected at 3-month after diagnosis. Finally, 120 breast cancer patients completed the follow-up investigation.
Results: The total score of the PTGI was 73.98 in rehabilitative breast cancer patients, the educational level, religion, breast-conserving surgery and increasing exercise after the illness were positive factors, while the stage of cancer and the level of psychological distress were negative factors. Posttraumatic growth increased and psychological distress decreased continually from 3 months to 9 months after diagnosis.
Conclusions: Although the level of PTG is high among breast cancer patients in the rehabilitation period, there is still room for growth. The influence factors of the level of PTG are the educational level, religion, stage of cancer, breast-conserving surgery, and increasing exercise after illness and the level of psychological distress. Patients can produce a lower level of PTG while they are receiving therapy in hospital. In the treatment phase, the level of PTG shows an increasing tendency, while the degree of psychological distress has a downward trend.