Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 255, Issue 4, pp 201–209 | Cite as

A prospective study concerning psychological characteristics of patients with breast cancer

  • W. Neuhaus
  • C. Zok
  • U. -J. Göhring
  • A. Scharl


In a prospective study we have investigated the question of predisposing and reactive personality traits in breast cancer patients. The design of the study incorporated a prebioptic collection of data by means of an interview and psychological test questionnaires (STAI, SVF, FPI, CIP-DS), as well as follow-up questioning after a one year interval. In comparison with operated women with benign biopsy findings no unequivocal indications of a personality type predisposed to cancer were found. Both patient groups showed a high preoperative potential for anxiety. The tendency to suppress emotions, trivialise and to display self-pity was particularly noticeable in patients with advanced tumours at the time of diagnosis. Even after the disease had run for one year, it was not possible to demonstrate a distinct characterisation of the breast cancer patients by psychological testing methods. An increased concern over health, an inclination towards resignation and social isolation and a diminished contentment with life marked the changes that could be measured by psychological tests in some of the women affected.

Key words

Breast cancer Psychological characteristics Coping 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Neuhaus
    • 1
  • C. Zok
    • 1
  • U. -J. Göhring
    • 1
  • A. Scharl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gynaecology and ObstetricsUniversity of CologneKöln

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