Background: Limited evidence suggests that intimate partner violence (IPV) may be associated with poorer cancer outcomes. We hypothesized that timing and type of IPV as well as childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may negatively affect depression, perceived stress, and cancer-related well-being. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of women diagnosed with either breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer in the prior 12 months included in the Kentucky Cancer Registry. Consenting women were interviewed by phone (n=553). Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to determine the association between IPV (37% lifetime prevalence) and type, timing, and the range of correlated cancer-related well-being indicators, adjusting for confounding factors. Results: IPV (p=0.002) and CSA (p=0.03) were associated with the six correlated well-being indicators. Specifically, lifetime and current IPV were associated with lower Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast Cancer (FACT-B) (p=0.006) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-being Scale (FACIT-SP) (p=0.03) scores, higher perceived stress at diagnosis (p=0.006), and depressive symptom scores at diagnosis (p<0.0001), whereas CSA was associated with lower FACT-B (p=0.02), increased number of comorbid conditions (p=0.03), and higher current stress levels (p=0.04). Current and past IPV, as well as psychologic abuse, were associated with poorer well-being among women with a recent cancer diagnosis. Conclusions: Our results provide evidence that both IPV and CSA negatively influence cancer-related well-being indicators. These data suggest that identification of lifetime IPV and other stressors may provide information that healthcare providers can use to best support and potentially improve the well-being of female cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1188
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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