Health Locus of Control in Indonesian Women with Breast Cancer: a Comparison with Healthy Women


The aims of this study were to assess whether Indonesian women with breast cancer havea higher externalhealth locus of control (HLC) than healthy women, and to explore the association between HLC and symptomsof anxiety and depression. In this study, 120 consecutive women with breast cancer were recruited at theoutpatient surgical oncology clinic at the Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung. One hundred and twenty twohealthy women were recruited from the Bandung area as controls. A standard demographic form, Form C of theMultidimensional Health Locus of Control, as well as the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and patients’medical records were used. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, Pearson’s correlation, MANOVAand multiple linear regressions. Women with breast cancer had higher scores on all external HLC subscales,i.e. chance, doctor, powerful others and God, and lower internal HLC compared to healthy women. High GodLHC scores were associated with a high level of anxiety (β=0.21, p<0.05), whereas none of the HLC subscaleswere associated with depression. Our results suggest that women with breast cancer tend to have high externalHLC, while healthy women tend to have high internal HLC. A strong belief in an external source of control, i.e.God, might be negatively associated with patient emotional adjustment. Further research is needed to give aninsight into the direction of this association.