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Psychological control and morbidity/mortality in breast cancer patients: a 20-year follow-up study.


The purpose of this paper was to examine the longitudinal effects of psychological sense of control and control-related coping strategies on breast cancer outcomes. Utilizing the California Cancer Registry, follow-up data on cancer recurrence and all-cause mortality were obtained for 54 of 58 women originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 to 1994. Relationships between cancer outcomes and psychological control and mood at 4 and 8 months post-diagnosis were examined. Results of the study showed that a greater sense of control at 8 months was associated with less cancer recurrence, while higher desire for control at both 4 and 8 months was associated with greater likelihood of recurrence. Utilization of an accepting mode of control appeared to mitigate the negative effects of desire for control on recurrence. No significant relationships were observed between mood and mortality or recurrence. These findings suggest the potential value of examining psychological control and control-related coping on cancer outcomes in future epidemiological and clinical studies.

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