Coping among older-adult, long-term cancer survivors
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2005
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 15, Issue 2, pages 143–159, February 2006
How to Cite
Deimling, G. T., Wagner, L. J., Bowman, K. F., Sterns, S., Kercher, K. and Kahana, B. (2006), Coping among older-adult, long-term cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 15: 143–159. doi: 10.1002/pon.931
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2006
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 MAR 2005
- Manuscript Received: 22 JUL 2004
- cancer worries;
- fears of recurrence
This research focuses on the coping behavior of older adult, long-term cancer survivors. Specifically, it identifies the personal (including race and gender) and illness/treatment characteristics of survivors that are significantly associated with the use of specific coping styles: planning, acceptance, venting, denial and seeking social support. It also examines the mediating role that these forms of coping play in terms of psychological distress: anxiety, depression and cancer-related worries. Multivariate analysis of data from a random sample of 321 long-term survivors in a major cancer center tumor registry is used to address the above issues. The most prominent forms of coping used by long-term survivors were planning and acceptance; least used were venting and denial. Increased age was associated with lower use of all forms of coping, but cancer type was not. Denial as a form of coping was associated with higher anxiety, depression and cancer-related worries. While race was not found to be a significant predictor of coping style, it was a significant predictor of three dimensions of psychological distress, anxiety, depression and cancer-related worries, with African Americans exhibiting lower levels of distress than Whites. The relevance of these findings for health and social service practitioners is discussed. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.