Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 343–348 | Cite as

Self-blame, Self-forgiveness, and Spirituality in Breast Cancer Survivors in a Public Sector Setting

  • Lois C. Friedman
  • Catherine R. Barber
  • Jenny Chang
  • Yee Lu Tham
  • Mamta Kalidas
  • Mothaffar F. Rimawi
  • Mario F. Dulay
  • Richard Elledge


Cognitive appraisal affects adjustment to breast cancer. A self-forgiving attitude and spirituality may benefit breast cancer survivors who blame themselves for their cancer. One hundred and eight women with early breast cancers completed questionnaires assessing self-blame, self-forgiveness, spirituality, mood and quality of life (QoL) in an outpatient breast clinic. Women who blamed themselves reported more mood disturbance (p < 0.01) and poorer QoL (p < 0.01). Women who were more self-forgiving and more spiritual reported less mood disturbance and better QoL (p’s < 0.01). Interventions that reduce self-blame and facilitate self-forgiveness and spirituality could promote better adjustment to breast cancer.


Breast cancer survivors Self-blame Self-forgiveness Spirituality 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lois C. Friedman
    • 1
  • Catherine R. Barber
    • 2
  • Jenny Chang
    • 3
  • Yee Lu Tham
    • 3
  • Mamta Kalidas
    • 4
  • Mothaffar F. Rimawi
    • 3
  • Mario F. Dulay
    • 5
  • Richard Elledge
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Ireland Cancer CenterUniversity Hospitals Case Medical CenterClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Dan Duncan Cancer Center and Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, Department of MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Austin Diagnostic ClinicAustinUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryThe Methodist Hospital Neurological InstituteHoustonUSA

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