Psychological Coping Mechanisms and Survival Time in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Leonard R. Derogatis, Martin D. Abeloff, Nick Melisaratos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

365 Scopus citations


Thirty-five women with metastatic breast cancer received a battery of baseline psychological tests; results were correlated with length of survival. Patients who died in less than one year from baseline were categorized as short-term survivors, while patients who lived for one year or longer were assigned to the long-term survivor group. The long-term survivors were more symptomatic overall, with particular elevations on measures of anxiety and alienation, and substantially higher levels of dysphoric mood (eg, depression, guilt) than the short-term survivors. Short-term survivors revealed significantly lower levels of hostility, with higher levels of positive mood. Treating oncologists perceived the long-term survivors to show significantly poorer adjustment to their illnesses than the short-term survivors, and an interviewer's ratings indicated that long-term survivors had significantly poorer attitudes toward their physicians. Measures of clinical status and demographic data revealed few differences between the two groups. (JAMA 242:1504-1508, 1979).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1508
Number of pages5
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 5 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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