Coping with CancerWhat Do Patients Do

Author: Zaza C//Sellick SM//Hillier LM.
Dept of Health Studies and Gerontology, 200 University Ave, W
Conference/Journal: J Psychosoc Oncol
Date published: 2005
Other: Volume ID: 23 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 55-73 , Word Count: 198

Although psychosocial coping techniques and supportive care services have been shown to improve cancer patients' quality of life, there is evidence that many of these strategies have not been widely integrated into the routine care of cancer patients. This study examined: (1) the extent to which cancer patients use certain coping strategies; (2) reasons for non-use; (3) perceived effectiveness of the coping strategies; (4) participants' interest in trying the strategies; and (5) if the strategies were recommended to participants. At the Northwestern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, 292 outpatients (98% response rate) completed an in-person interview with a research assistant concerning seven individual coping strategies (music, breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, muscle relaxation, visualization/imagery, hypnosis/self-hypnosis) and four coping strategies offered through supportive care services (individual counselling, family counselling, support groups, religious support). Of all the coping strategies presented, prayer was used by the highest number (n = 186) of participants (64%). Music was the next most commonly used strategy, used by 43% (n = 124) of participants, and all other strategies were used by less than 30%of participants. The individualized approaches that are used for disseminating disease and treatment information to cancer patients should also be used to provide them with information on effective coping strategies.ÿ