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Quality of life may impact coping strategies of young women with breast cancer
Date:3/24/2009

s and Quality of Life among Younger Women with Breast Cancer," consisted of 267 women with breast cancer, with a mean age of 43 years, who completed baseline surveys within six months of diagnosis and follow-up surveys six weeks and six months later. The surveys included questions on coping strategies, QOL and medical factors.

Eligible women were sent a baseline packet of self-report questionnaires to complete. Following completion of the baseline survey, women were randomly assigned to receive a booklet or videotape describing how women often respond to a breast cancer diagnosis. Follow-up surveys were completed within six to eight weeks and six to eight months after the mailing of the educational material. These time frames were selected to assess short- and longer-term impact of the interventions.

Results of the study revealed that coping strategies in younger women changed over time. Seeking social support, spirituality, wishful thinking, and making changes decreased over time and detachment increased. Positive cognitive restructuring (reinterpreting something stressful as positive or helpful) was the most frequently used coping strategy and its use remained high over time. Keeping feelings to oneself was the least used coping strategy and its use remained consistently low over time.

Despite the unique issues and difficulties experienced by younger women with breast cancer, their coping strategies do not appear different from those of women with breast cancer in general regardless of age.

The reciprocal relationship between QOL and coping strategies during the year following diagnosis showed an interesting pattern. Coping at one time point showed little predictive value of subsequent QOL. However, poorer QOL was a significant predictor of greater use of several coping strategies (seeking social support, keeping feelings to self and wishful thinking) at subsequent time points. This finding suggests that people adapt their
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Contact: Jonnie Rohrer
jrohrer@wfubmc.edu
336-716-6972
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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