Breast cancer and psychological resilience among young women

D. Di Giacomo 1 , K. Cannita 2 , J. Ranieri 1 , V. Cocciolone 2 , D. Passafiume 1 , C. Ficorella 2 3

1 Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Italy; 2 San Salvatore Hospital, Medical Oncology Division, L’Aquila, Italy; 3 Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Study, University of L’Aquila, Italy



Aim of the study was to examine the psychological resilience among young women afterwards breast cancer diagnosis, as they could be considered a risk group for psychological distress for that clinical event.

Materials and Methods

A sample of n. 82 women in range age 31-51 years old was recruited and distributed in 2 groups:

a) Breast Cancer group: n. 42 women were diagnosed and

b) Normal Control group: n. 40 healthy women. The psychological battery was composed of self-report tests: PDI, STAXI, STAY and BDI-II.


Our results evidenced significant impact only in depression scale: the patients presented higher scores than control group. The experience, expression and control of the anger and the expression of the anxiety scores highlighted resilient performance in breast cancer patients. Moreover, interesting to notice that the MANOVA analysis comparing the psychological tests in different time of the treatment (T0 = post survey; T1 = post chemotherapy and T2 = ongoing hormone therapy) hasn’t showed significant differences between emotional condition of patients and health subjects.


Our results highlighted the psychological resilience in young women that have to deal with the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our finding showed that young patients seem more emotional resilient: experiencing negative emotions and transforming that in personal growth; young patients can be considered a target to support with specific treatment to improve their wellness and quality of life after overcoming physical weakness.

Key words

Resilience • Psychological distress • Breast cancer • Young women

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