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A Structural Model for Adjustment to Aging among Older Women in Breast Cancer Remission

Abstract

This study aims to build a structural model to explore the predictors of adjustment to aging (AtA) reported by older women in breast cancer remission. A community-dwelling sample of 771 older women in breast cancer remission aged between 75 and 98 years answered a questionnaire to determine socio-demographic (age, income, marital status, education, household, and living setting), and health-related characteristics (self-reported functional limitations and disabilities, time since remission, other type of cancer, breast reconstruction, perceived health, recent disease and medication). Several measures were employed to assess AtA, sense of coherence and subjective well-being. Structural equation modeling was used to explore a structural model of the self-reported AtA, encompassing all variables. Significant predictors of AtA are self-reported disability (β = .404; p < .001), time since remission (β = .371; p < .001), perceived health (β = .257; p < .001), other type of cancer (β = .231; p < .001), breast reconstruction (β = .153; p = .008), marital status (β = .141; p < .001), sense of coherence (β = .140; p < .001), and living setting (β = .139; p = .006). These variables accounted for 84.3% of the variability of AtA. Self-reported disability and time since remission were the strongest predictors of AtA. Our findings suggest that health care interventions with older women in breast cancer remission still living in the community may benefit from clearly including these predictors of AtA, as they are relevant for promoting older women’ s aging well.

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Funding

We kindly acknowledge the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), for the grant [grant number SFRH/BD/44544/2008] which supported this research. The fund approved the design and aims of the study but did not play any role in the collecting of data, interpretation of results, or preparation of this article.

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SVH: study concept and design, analysis and interpretation of data, recruitment of subjects, preparation of manuscript; IS: study concept and design, interpretation of data; FC: recruitment of subjects, preparation of manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sofia von Humboldt.

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The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

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von Humboldt, S., Carneiro, F. & Leal, I. A Structural Model for Adjustment to Aging among Older Women in Breast Cancer Remission. Applied Research Quality Life 14, 441–459 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9622-3

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Keywords

  • Adjustment to aging
  • Breast cancer remission
  • Older women
  • Predictors
  • Structural equation modeling