Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 22–36

Which symptoms matter? Self-report and observer discrepancies in repressors and high-anxious women with metastatic breast cancer

  • Janine Giese-Davis
  • Rie Tamagawa
  • Maya Yutsis
  • Suzanne Twirbutt
  • Karen Piemme
  • Eric Neri
  • C. Barr Taylor
  • David Spiegel
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10865-012-9461-x

Cite this article as:
Giese-Davis, J., Tamagawa, R., Yutsis, M. et al. J Behav Med (2014) 37: 22. doi:10.1007/s10865-012-9461-x

Abstract

Clinicians working with cancer patients listen to them, observe their behavior, and monitor their physiology. How do we proceed when these indicators do not align? Under self-relevant stress, non-cancer repressors respond with high arousal but report low anxiety; the high-anxious report high anxiety but often have lower arousal. This study extends discrepancy research on repressors and the high-anxious to a metastatic breast cancer sample and examines physician rating of coping. Before and during a Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), we assessed affect, autonomic reactivity, and observers coded emotional expression from TSST videotapes. We compared non-extreme (N = 40), low-anxious (N = 16), high-anxious (N = 19), and repressors (N = 19). Despite reported low anxiety, repressors expressed significantly greater Tension or anxiety cues. Despite reported high anxiety, the high-anxious expressed significantly greater Hostile Affect rather than Tension. Physicians rated both groups as coping significantly better than others. Future research might productively study physician-patient interaction in these groups.

Keywords

Repression Anxiety Breast cancer Emotional expression Hostility Tension Physician-patient interaction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janine Giese-Davis
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rie Tamagawa
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maya Yutsis
    • 4
  • Suzanne Twirbutt
    • 1
  • Karen Piemme
    • 1
  • Eric Neri
    • 1
  • C. Barr Taylor
    • 1
  • David Spiegel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oncology, Division of Psychosocial OncologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of Psychosocial ResourcesTom Baker Cancer Centre, Alberta Health Services, Holy Cross SiteCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyPalo Alto VA Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA

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