Somatosensory amplification and menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors and midlife women

Janet S. Carpenter, Christele M. Igega, Julie L. Otte, Debra S. Burns, Menggang Yu, Jingwei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives Somatosensory amplification is the experience of sensing everyday bodily sensations as intense, agitating, and unpleasant. Using data from menopausal breast cancer survivors and midlife women without cancer, the study purposes were to (1) explore the psychometric properties of the Somatosensory Amplification Scale and (2) to describe somatosensory amplification and its relationship to menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, mood and sleep disturbance. Study design This was a cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational study using demographic, e-diary, and questionnaire data from 99 breast cancer survivors and 138 midlife women. Main outcome measures Somatosensory amplification, hot flashes (frequency, severity, bother, interference, perceived control), mood, and sleep. Results Cronbach's alphas for the scale were low. When an 8-item version of the scale was evaluated, alphas improved and item-total correlations remained strong or improved. Midlife women and breast cancer survivors did not have significantly different somatosensory amplification total or item scores after adjusting for group differences in demographics. Somatosensory amplification was significantly correlated with hot flash interference, perceived control over hot flashes, and mood and sleep disturbance in both groups but the patterns of correlations differed slightly between groups and depending on whether the 10-item or 8-item scale was used. Conclusion Somatosensory amplification may be a relevant concept to assess in relation to the menopausal symptom experience of midlife women with and without breast cancer as it may represent a potential intervention target to improve the menopausal symptom experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Keywords
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Menopause
  • Somatosensory amplification
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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