Context Factors in the Lack of Positive Valence System in Women Suffering from Breast Cancer: Therapy Protocol Based on RDoC Framework Domains

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology, Group of Psychology, Refah University College, Tehran, Iran

2 Group of Psychology, Refah University College

3 Motamed Jihad University Cancer Research Institute


Introduction: Breast cancer is one of the diseases which is mostly affected by negative emotions. However, the context factors that leads to lack of positive valence in these patients is not clear. The current study aimed to identify the context factors in the lack of positive valence system in women suffering from breast cancer.
Method: Research method was qualitative grounded theory and data was obtained from in-depth interviews with patients at the Motamed Jihad University Cancer Research Institute during 2022. Participants were voluntarily and purposefully selected and sampling continued until data saturation. At the end, 10 individuals participated. Data were coded in three levels according to the Strauss and Corbin method.
Results: In relation to the positive valence system, we extracted three theoretical, nine axial and 24 open codes. The theoretical codes contained reward response (with axial codes of reward prediction, initial response to reward and reward saturation), reward learning (with axial codes of prediction error and reward habit) and reward valuation (with the axial codes of uncertainty of risk, delay in reward valuation, frustrated non-reward and attempt to value rewards). Theoretical, axial and open codes were evaluated by experts to obtain internal and structural validity as well as conceptual framework model and therapy protocol that were designed by extracted codes.
Conclusion: The possibility of decreasing or increasing the incidence of cancer depends on the presence or absence of the positive valence system. The suggested therapy protocol represented that the positive valence factors enhancement might limit the possibility of breast cancer.


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