Clinical and sociodemographic factors that may influence the resilience of women surviving breast cancer: cross-sectional study

  • María Padilla-RuizEmail author
  • Cristóbal Ruiz-Román
  • Elisabet Pérez-Ruiz
  • Antonio Rueda
  • Maximino Redondo
  • Francisco Rivas-Ruiz
Original Article



Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases, affecting many thousands of women. Although more than 80% of women survive the experience, very few studies have been conducted to examine the question of resilience among long-term survivors of breast cancer. The aim of this study is to describe the clinical and sociodemographic factors that correlate with greater resilience in women survivors of breast cancer, in the Costa del Sol Health Area (Spain).


Accordingly, a descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted, with respect to 59 survivors of breast cancer, who each completed a questionnaire for analysis according to the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC).


The median resilience score was 77 (interquartile range 70–80). The group of patients who had survived for six or more years since the diagnosis had a higher score for total resilience (90: IR 76–92) than those diagnosed more recently (74: IR 65.7–83.7) (p = 0.012). Regarding the patients’ education background, the group with no formal qualifications or only primary studies had a score of 72 (IR 64–84), versus 79 (IR 74–89.7) for the group with higher levels of education (p = 0.016). Of the clinical variables, only the administration of chemotherapy was significantly associated with the score obtained on the CD-RISC scale (p = 0.012).


The results obtained in this study lead us to conclude that sociodemographic and clinical factors have a positive impact on the level of resilience among women resident in the Costa del Sol Health Area and who are long-term survivors of breast cancer.


Resilience Breast cancer Long-term cancer survivors Psychological adaptation 



We are grateful for the support received from the Costa del Sol Health Agency, particularly the Research Unit, and we also thank all the women who took part in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

In all respects, the present study complies with the Helsinki Declaration and with applicable legislation on the protection of patients’ rights (Act 15/2002). All data were recorded anonymously, in strict accordance with the laws and data protection regulations in force (Act 41/2002 of 14 November; Act 15/1999 of 15 December). The study was approved by the Costa del Sol Research Ethics Committee on 26 October 2016, under internal code number 005_oct_PR-Resiliencia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Padilla-Ruiz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Cristóbal Ruiz-Román
    • 2
  • Elisabet Pérez-Ruiz
    • 3
    • 5
  • Antonio Rueda
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
  • Maximino Redondo
    • 1
    • 3
  • Francisco Rivas-Ruiz
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Research UnitHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  2. 2.School of Education ScienceUniversity of MálagaMálagaSpain
  3. 3.Health Services Network for Research into Chronic Diseases (REDISSEC)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Agencia Sanitaria Costa del Sol, Unidad de InvestigaciónMarbellaSpain
  5. 5.Oncology ServiceHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain

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