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

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The terms trauma-related rumination, cancer diagnosis-related rumination, and cancer-related rumination were used interchangeably in this study.

  2. 2.

    Amazonki is an association of women who have suffered from breast cancer and have undergone mastectomy.

  3. 3.

    The results above this point may be treated as the indicator of PTSD diagnosis (Juczyński & Ogińska-Bulik, 2009).

  4. 4.

    After Bonferroni correction for correlations, deliberate rumination has not been included in the mediation model.

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

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Correspondence to Paulina Michalska.

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

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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.

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Ogińska-Bulik, N., Michalska, P. The Relationship Between Emotional Processing Deficits and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Breast Cancer Patients: The Mediating Role of Rumination. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 27, 11–21 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-019-09606-6

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Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Emotional processing
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Rumination
  • Trauma