Factors related to preoperative uncertainty among patients with breast cancer in Wenzhou, China: A cross-sectional study


breast neoplasms
illness perception
social support

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Shen, H., Masingboon, K., & Samartkit, N. (2023). Factors related to preoperative uncertainty among patients with breast cancer in Wenzhou, China: A cross-sectional study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(3), 236–243. https://doi.org/10.33546/bnj.2648
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Accepted for publication: 2023-06-02
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: One of the most prevalent psychological signs of breast cancer is uncertainty, which is more prevalent in Chinese patients during the preoperative period. Despite the numerous factors contributing to preoperative uncertainty, there is limited relevant research conducted in China.

Objective: This study aimed to describe the current state of preoperative uncertainty and to investigate the relationship between anxiety, illness perception, social support, and preoperative uncertainty in patients with breast cancer in Wenzhou, China.

Methods: This cross-sectional research used a simple random sampling technique to select 122 participants from a university hospital in Wenzhou, China, from July 2022 to December 2022, employing validated instruments. Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were utilized to analyze the data.

Results: The average preoperative uncertainty scores of the patients fell within a moderate range (M = 61.92, SD = 7.51). Significant correlations were found between anxiety (r = 0.638, p <0.01), illness perception (r = 0.704, p <0.01), social support (r = -0.481, p <0.01), and preoperative uncertainty.

Conclusions: The results can assist healthcare professionals, especially nurses, in recognizing the factors contributing to uncertainty before surgery in patients with breast cancer. This knowledge enables them to promptly address and minimize this issue, leading to improved outcomes.



Copyright (c) 2023 Huaiyu Shen, Khemaradee Masingboon, Niphawan Samartkit

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

All authors declared no potential conflict of interest in this study.


The authors acknowledge Burapha University, Thailand, and the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, China, for supporting this study. Our sincere gratitude also goes to the participants of this study for their kind cooperation.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors contributed substantially to the conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data. Additionally, all authors drafted or revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version.

Data Availability

The datasets generated during and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Declaration of Use of AI in Scientific Writing

Nothing to declare.


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