The Leventhal´s Self-regulatory Model in Breast Cancer

Susana Fernandes


The aim of this study was to examine psychosocial adjustment to breast cancer, according to Leventhal’s self-regulation model.  We tried to understand the role of emotions and illness representations in coping.  The participants were 74 Portuguese recently diagnosed breast cancer patients, assessed before surgery.  Measures included the Portuguese versions of: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), to assess emotions; the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (B-IPQ), to evaluate illness perceptions; and the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (Mini-MAC) to assess coping style.  The Hypothesis predicted that illness perceptions and emotions would be significant predictors of coping before surgery. The hypothesis was confirmed for most coping strategies.  Emotions and illness representations were significant predictors of coping, which supports Leventhal´s Self-Regulatory Model, in this sample.  Emotions and illness perceptions were significant predictors of Helplessness/Hopelessness, Anxious Preoccupation, and Fighting Spirit coping strategies.


Leventhal´s Self-regulatory Model; breast cancer; psychosocial adjustment; Coping; Illness representations; Emotional states; Psycho-Oncology

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