Health Locus of Control in Indonesian Women with Breast Cancer: a Comparison with Healthy Women

  • Iskandarsyah, Aulia (Department of Psychiatry, Section Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus MC University Medical Center) ;
  • de Klerk, Cora (Department of Psychiatry, Section Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus MC University Medical Center) ;
  • Suardi, Dradjat R. (Department of Surgical Oncology, Hasan Sadikin Hospital) ;
  • Sadarjoen, Sawitri S. (Department of Clinical Psychology, Padjadjaran University) ;
  • Passchier, Jan (Department of Psychiatry, Section Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus MC University Medical Center)
  • Published : 2014.11.28


The aims of this study were to assess whether Indonesian women with breast cancer havea higher external health locus of control (HLC) than healthy women, and to explore the association between HLC and symptoms of anxiety and depression. In this study, 120 consecutive women with breast cancer were recruited at the outpatient surgical oncology clinic at the Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung. One hundred and twenty two healthy women were recruited from the Bandung area as controls. A standard demographic form, Form C of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control, as well as the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and patients' medical records were used. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, Pearson's correlation, MANOVA and multiple linear regressions. Women with breast cancer had higher scores on all external HLC subscales, i.e. chance, doctor, powerful others and God, and lower internal HLC compared to healthy women. High God LHC scores were associated with a high level of anxiety (${\beta}=0.21$, p<0.05), whereas none of the HLC subscales were associated with depression. Our results suggest that women with breast cancer tend to have high external HLC, while healthy women tend to have high internal HLC. A strong belief in an external source of control, i.e. God, might be negatively associated with patient emotional adjustment. Further research is needed to give an insight into the direction of this association.


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