Breast Cancer Survivors’ attitudes toward eMental Health: a cross-sectional study

Cristina Mendes-Santos, Teresa Campos, Diana Ferreira, Elisabete Weiderpass, Rui Santana, Gerhard Andersson

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Background: Breast cancer survivors’ (BCS) attitudes toward eMental Health (eMH) are largely unknown, and adoption predictors and their interrelationships remain unclear. This study aimed to explore BCS’ attitudes toward eMH and investigate associated variables. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 336 Portuguese BCS was conducted. Attitudes toward eMH, depression and anxiety symptoms, health-related quality of life, and sociodemographic, clinical, and internet-related variables were assessed using validated questionnaires. Spearman-ranked correlations, χ2, and multiple regression analyses were computed to explore associations between attitudes and collected variables. Results: BCS held a neutral stance toward eMH. In models adjusted for age and education, positive attitudes were statistically significantly associated with increased depressive symptoms and worse emotional, cognitive, and body image functioning. Social network use, online health information and mental healthcare seeking, higher self-reported knowledge of eMH, and previous use of remote healthcare were positively associated with better attitudes toward eMH. Conclusions: eMH programs targeting BCS seem to be a promising strategy for providing supportive psychosocial care to BCS. However, increasing awareness about eMH efficacy and security may be necessary to improve its acceptance and use among BCS. Additional research is necessary to understand how BCS’ unmet care needs, and specifically their psychological distress severity, may impact BCS’ acceptance and use of eMH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1920
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • attitudes
  • breast cancer
  • eMental Health
  • EU
  • Portugal


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