Model Development of Illness Perception and Consequences in Breast Cancer Patients


Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran E-mail:


Breast cancer is the first or second malignancy among women worldwide. Illness perception (IP) and quality of life (QoL) are major issues considering breast cancer management. An attempt was here made to inspect the predictive variables influencing IP and their impact on QoL in cancer patients. The key predictors adapted from previous studies including life satisfaction, perceived social support, self-esteem, hope, optimism, and spiritual well being were taken into account. Our sample included 200 female volunteers suffering from breast cancer applying exclusion criteria. The data were collected using various questionnaires and statistically analyzed by means of path analysis and structural equation modeling. The results revealed that of the six predictors, spiritual well being and social support had direct effects on QoL and IP. The only path with significant indirect correlation with IP was social support. Spiritual well being had the second significant direct effect on IP. Self-esteem occupied the third rank in direct effects on both QoL and IP. In conclusion, here in Iran and most likely in other strongly religious communities, spiritual intervention is an effective strategy to raise QoL. Also social support helps women suffering from breast cancer to experience better conception and coping strategies.