J Korean Acad Nurs.  2005 Jun;35(4):728-736.

Relationships of Mood Disturbance, Symptom Experience, and Attentional Function in Women with Breast Cancer Based upon the Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms

  • 1Ajou University, Graduate School of Public Health, Suwon, Korea. ehlee@ajou.ac.kr


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify direct, mediating, and moderating relationships of mood disturbance, symptom experience, and attentional function in Korean women with breast cancer based upon a middle-range theory of unpleasant symptoms. METHODS: This study used a cross-sectional, correlational design. A convenience sample of 125 women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer was recruited from a university hospital in South Korea. The women completed questionnaires on mood disturbance, symptom experience, and attentional function using the Linear Analogue Self-Assessment Scale, the Symptom Experience Scale, and the Attentional Function Index, respectively. RESULTS: Each mood disturbance and symptom experience showed a significant relationship with attentional function. Symptom experience did not act as a mediator between mood disturbance and attentional function, but it did act as a moderator: patients with a higher level of mood disturbance exhibited a lower level of attentional function when their symptoms were at the level of medium, but not when their symptoms were either high or low. CONCLUSION: This suggests that clinical interventions for attenuating the influence of mood disturbance on attentional function may be effective only in women experiencing medium level of symptoms.


Breast cancer; symptom; mood; attention

MeSH Terms

Regression Analysis
Psychological Theory
Multivariate Analysis
Mood Disorders/etiology/*psychology
Middle Aged
Cross-Sectional Studies
Breast Neoplasms/*complications/drug therapy/*psychology
Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects
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