Social constraints and fear of recurrence among Chinese American breast cancer survivors: An exploration of psychosocial mediators
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Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is commonly experienced among Caucasian and Chinese American breast cancer survivors (BCS). Emerging studies have suggested that Caucasian BCS' communication with family members contributes to their FCR. However, whether such findings apply to Chinese American BCS has yet to be explored. This study examined the association between social constraints (i.e., perceived barriers from significant others inhibiting cancer-related disclosure) and FCR among 136 Chinese American BCS, plus proposed that self-stigma (i.e., internalized feelings of shame about having cancer), bodily pain, and ambivalence over emotional expression (AEE; conflict between the desire to express emotions and the fear of its consequences) would mediate the association.

Participants recruited through cancer associations in the USA were invited to complete a cross-sectional survey measuring their socio-demographic/cancer-related variables and the above-mentioned psychological variables.

Higher levels of social constraints, AEE, self-stigma, and bodily pain were associated with higher FCR (rs ranged from 0.27 to 0.40, ps < 0.01). After controlling for covariates, path analysis results supported the proposed mediation model with satisfactory fit indices (χ2(7) = 2.08, Comparative Fit index = 1.00, Tucker Lewis Index = 1.08, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.00). Specifically, social constraints were associated with higher FCR through increased self-stigma (β = 0.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.17), AEE (β = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.27), and bodily pain (β = 0.09, 95% CI = 0.02, 0.17), indicating significant mediation effects. After considering the mediators, the direct effect from social constraints to FCR was no longer significant.

The association between social constraints and higher FCR could be mediated by increased self-stigma, AEE, and bodily pain among Chinese American BCS. Interventions targeting to address those variables may reduce FCR among those BCS.
Acceptance Date27/07/2021
All Author(s) ListNelson CY Yeung, Qian Lu
Journal namePsycho-Oncology
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2021-07-12 at 00:04