Self-blame attribution in women with cervical cancer

Date
August 2023
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of self-blame attribution in women with cervical cancer. Although anecdotal information was available to support exploring the phenomenon in a vulnerable population of women with cancer, a gap in the literature existed. Since little is known about the impact of self-blame attribution in women with cervical cancer, a non-experimental, descriptive study was performed between August 2022 and March 2023. Of 415 women eligible to participate, N = 106 (25.5%) women 26-64 years of age completed an online survey. Of the participants, 78.3% reported affiliating with a religious faith, a majority of which were Protestant (42.5%) or Catholic (35.8%). About half of the participants were aware of the human papillomavirus (54.7%) and the HPV vaccine (55.7%). A majority (72.6%) had never received the HPV vaccine and were positive for HPV (89.6). Over half (57.5%) of the participants had experienced an unwanted sexual event in the form of being forced or pressured to have sex (38.7%) or had experienced a sexual assault/rape (18.9%). Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample. Multiple linear regression was used to determine whether a relationship exists between self-blame attribution, psychological distress, and spiritual well-being and to identify how unwanted sexual experiences predict self-blame attribution. Psychological distress and having experienced a forced or pressured sexual event were noted as significant predictors of self-blame attribution. Bivariate statistics were used to correlate the data with a moderate association noted between behavioral and characterological self-blame in the population. Findings revealed a relationship exists between self-blame attribution, psychological distress, and spiritual well-being in women with cervical cancer although the strength of the relationship remains unknown. Future research is needed to promote health through assessment, intervention, and referral for self-blame attribution in this population.

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Health Sciences, Nursing
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