We examined relationships between three emotion-regulation constructs and autonomic physiology in metastatic breast cancer patients (N = 31). Autonomic measures are not often studied in breast cancer patients and may provide evidence of an increase in allostatic load. Patients included participated as part of a larger clinical trial of supportive-expressive group therapy. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate were assessed at a semi-annual follow-up. We averaged 3 resting assessments and used measures of Repression, Suppression, Restraint of Hostility, and Body Mass Index as predictors of autonomic response. We found that higher repression was significantly associated with higher diastolic blood pressure, while higher restraint of hostility was significantly associated with higher systolic blood pressure. A repressive emotion regulation style may be a risk factor for higher sympathetic activation possibly increasing allostatic load, while restraint of hostility may be a protective factor for women with metastatic breast cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.paid.2007.08.002
View details for PubMedID 18461119
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2836882