The Relationship Between Emotional Processing Deficits and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Breast Cancer Patients: The Mediating Role of Rumination

  • Nina Ogińska-Bulik
  • Paulina MichalskaEmail author


Cognitive activity, manifested as trauma-related ruminative thinking, and deficits in emotional processing are believed to perpetuate the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of this study was to determine the mediating role of rumination in the relationship between emotional processing difficulties and PTSD symptoms. Data from 60 women aged from 40 to 67 (mean 58.0; SD 6.97) with breast cancer diagnosis were analyzed. The participants completed three questionnaires: the Impact of Event Scale-Revised to assess PTSD symptoms, the Event Related Rumination Inventory to measure intrusive and deliberate rumination, and the Emotional Processing Scale to assess emotional processing deficits. The results reveal positive associations between emotional processing deficits, cancer-related rumination, and PTSD symptoms. Mediation analysis indicated that intrusive rumination plays a mediating role in the relationship between difficulties in emotional processing and PTSD symptoms. The findings highlight the role played by cognitive and emotional processes in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.


Breast cancer Emotional processing Posttraumatic stress disorder Rumination Trauma 


Author Contributions

NO-B and PM wrote the paper and performed the statistical analyses.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Nina Oginska‑Bulik and Paulina Michalska declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by Ethics Committee of University of Łódź. The reference number of the approval: 4/KBBN-UŁ/I/2016.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Psychology, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of ŁódźŁódźPoland

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