Perceptions of Control in Women Undergoing Cancer-Related Surgery on Psychological Perceptions of Health
Research has found that perceived health locus of control is related to increased health-enhancing behaviors. However, studies have not examined if perceived health locus of control similarly impacts psychological health and have largely ignored women’s health. These studies have also overlooked contexts where individuals have little control over their behaviors. Therefore, in the current study, we examine how perceptions of health locus of control relate to psychological health in a sample of women with clinical suspicion of having gynecological cancer. Women (n = 301), ranging from 40 to 80 years-old and undergoing inpatient gynecological surgery at Michigan Medicine University of Michigan, USA, were included in our study. Data, including psychological measures of control and health perceptions, were collected preoperatively. Our findings indicate that increased perceptions of health locus of control were related to a significant increase in preoperative psychological health through a reduction in negative affect, controlling for the invasiveness of the planned procedure (more invasive Laparotomy or Laparoscopy) and the subsequent formal postoperative diagnosis (benign or malignant). These findings have implications for enhancing women’s preoperative health. We provide insight for promoting positive interactions between healthcare providers and patients, and we discuss postoperative implications.
KeywordsLocus of control Affect Cancer Women Mental health Physical health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The study was approved by the University of Michigan Medical School IRB (IRBMED #2004-0814) and there were no conflicts of interest.
All participants were given informed consent, and consented to participate in the study.
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