ARTICLESUncertainty and Anxiety During the Diagnostic Period for Women With Suspected Breast CancerLiao, Mei-Nan MSN; Chen, Miin-Fu MD, FACS; Chen, Shin-Cheh MD; Chen, Ping-Ling PhD, MPH Author Information Authors' Affiliations: Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, and Administration Center of Medical Research Department, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan (Ms Liao); Department of Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan (Drs M. F. Chen and S. C. Chen); and Graduate Institute of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan (Dr P. L. Chen). Corresponding author: Ping-Ling Chen, PhD, MPH, Graduate Institute of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, No. 250 Wu-Hsing St, Taipei 110, Taiwan ([email protected]). Accepted for publication January 2, 2008. Cancer Nursing: July 2008 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 274-283 doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000305744.64452.fe Buy Metrics Abstract A possible diagnosis of breast cancer imposes a huge psychological impact on most women, but few studies have addressed uncertainty and anxiety changes at different diagnostic stages in women with suspected breast cancer. Thus, this longitudinal study examined uncertainty and anxiety and predictive factors for uncertainty in women with suspected breast cancer. Data were collected on uncertainty (Uncertainty in Illness Scale) and anxiety (State Anxiety Inventory) from 127 women at 3 times: upon notice of a breast biopsy, before biopsy, and after diagnosis. The results showed that uncertainty and anxiety levels were significantly higher before than after diagnosis. At the 3 data collection times, uncertainty and anxiety were significantly lower for participants diagnosed with benign tumors than for those with malignant diagnoses. Uncertainty and anxiety were positively, moderately correlated. Uncertainty was predicted by age, marital status, education level, religious status, family history of benign breast tumor, regular breast self-examination, self-perceived probability of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, and biopsy result. Therefore, nursing professionals should be aware of the uncertainty and anxiety changes and impact of personal attributes on women with suspected breast cancer during the diagnostic period and provide care programs to alleviate their psychological distress. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.