Hardiness and Optimism in Women with Breast Cancer

Masoud Bahrami, Soheila Mohamadirizi, Shahla Mohamadirizi


Background: Hardiness and optimism are two general health promoting factors, which enable the individuals to remain both psychologically and physically healthy despite encountering negative life events. But there is lack of knowledge about the current state of these constructs and their relationship in breast cancer patients in an Iranian context.

Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive study which was completed in Sayyed‑AL‑Shohda Hospital affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2015. Two hundred and ten women with breast cancer were conveniently selected to complete the personal/demographic/illness questionnaire, Hardiness Scale, and Life Orientation Test. Data were analyzed by t‑test, analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation with a significance level of p < 0.05.

Results: The mean (SD) age and duration of illness were 46.73 (10.12) years and 29.48 (19.70) months, respectively. Most patients were married (86.23%), without university education (92.61%) and unemployed (85.69%). Most patients received chemotherapy as their main treatment (39.43%). Also, 61.42 and 58.10% of patients had high hardiness and optimism, respectively. There was a significant positive correlation between the score of hardiness and optimism (r = 0.22, p ≤ 0.01).

Conclusions: The results showed that most of the breast cancer patients had moderate to high hardiness and optimism, so healthcare providers can use these personality properties in their care planning to improve coping strategies. Also, the findings of this study can assist healthcare team in order to pay more attention to coping strategies in cancer patients during their treatment and also considering the relationship of these issues in their evaluations.


Breast cancer, hardiness, nursing, optimism

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