Development of the ways of helping questionnaire: A measure of preferred coping strategies for older African American cancer survivors


  • This work would not have been possible without the contributions of individuals who helped with recruitment, data collection, and provided invaluable input into the development of the questionnaire. Special thanks go to Dr. Otis W. Brawley, Mansi Agarwal, Gregory Johnstone, Rodney Theodore, Oregon Health and Sciences University's Center for Symptom Management in Life-Threatening Illness, Grady's Cancer Center of Excellence, Emory University Clinics, and Winship Cancer Institute.

  • The studies in this report were funded in part by Grant 5R01 NR009271-04 from the National Institute of Nursing Research and National Center for Minority Health Disparities (J. Hamilton, Principal Investigator). J. Hamilton also acknowledges support from Grant 5P60-MD000525-01 from the National Center for Minority Health Disparities (O. W. Brawley, Principal Investigator), Grant NRSA T32#NR07048-06, Nursing Care of Older Populations, Oregon Health & Science University, and the Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scientist Program.


Although researchers have identified beneficial coping strategies for cancer patients, existing coping measures do not capture the preferred coping strategies of older African American cancer survivors. A new measure, the Ways of Helping Questionnaire (WHQ), was evaluated with 385 African American cancer survivors. Validity evidence from factor analysis resulted in 10 WHQ subscales (Others There for Me, Physical and Treatment Care Needs, Help from God, Church Family Support, Helping Others, Being Strong for Others, Encouraging My Healthy Behaviors, Others Distract Me, Learning about Cancer, and Distracting Myself). Reliability evidence was generally strong. Evidence regarding hypothesized relationships with measures of well-being and another coping measure was mixed. The WHQ's content coverage makes it especially relevant for older African American cancer survivors. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 32:243–259, 2009