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Papers of the Week

2022 Apr 12

J Clin Med



Allostatic Load as an Insight into the Psychological Burden after Primary Treatment in Women with Breast Cancer: Influence of Physical Side Effects and Pain Perception.


Irelli A, Ranieri J, Sirufo M M, De Pietro F, Casalena P, Ginaldi L, Cannita K, Di Giacomo D
J Clin Med. 2022 Apr 12; 11(8).
PMID: 35456237.


Breast cancer (BC) diagnosis and treatment have become a cumulative long-standing chronic disease impairment, causing stress and turning into an allostatic load (AL) framework. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between physical issues and mental health in patients with BC after medical treatment. We conducted an observational study of 61 female patients with BC, and clinical and psychological markers have been detected. We conducted descriptive statistics, ANOVA analyses, correlations, and mediation analyses to verify the effect of the comorbidity index on psychological dimensions. The findings showed high levels of distress and moderate pain, and 32.8% of the patients showed moderate physical impairment. Significant effects of "age" and "physical issues" were found. The adult group reported a higher incidence of physical issues, and the group of patients reporting moderate physical impairment seemed more depressed than patients with mild physical issues. Finally, the comorbidity condition mediated the presence of signs of depression. Patients with BC seemed to experience negative emotions related to comorbidities associated with compromised activities of daily living. Our findings highlighted allostatic overload as a predictive framework to better understand the mental health of women with BC diagnoses to tailor effective psychological treatments for enhanced recovery.