Measuring emotion regulation and emotional expression in breast cancer patients: A systematic review
Brandao, T., Tavares, R., Schulz, M. S., and Matos, P. M.
The important role of emotion regulation and expression in adaptation to breast cancer is now widely recognized. Studies have shown that optimal emotion regulation strategies, including less constrained emotional expression, are associated with better adaptation. Our objective was to systematically review measures used to assess the way women with breast cancer regulate their emotions. This systematic review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Nine different databases were searched. Data were independently extracted and assessed by two researchers. English-language articles that used at least one instrument to measure strategies to regulate emotions in women with breast cancer were included. Of 679 abstracts identified 59 studies were deemed eligible for inclusion. Studies were coded regarding their objectives, methods, and results. We identified 16 instruments used to measure strategies of emotion regulation and expression. The most frequently employed instrument was the Courtauld Emotional Control Scale. Few psychometric proprieties other than internal consistency were reported for most instruments. Many studies did not include important information regarding descriptive characteristics and psychometric properties of the instruments used. The instruments used tap different aspects of emotion regulation. Specific instruments should be explored further with regard to content, validity, and reliability in the context of breast cancer.