Coping with palliative chemotherapy


Sheila A. Payne, Department of Psychology, University of Exeter, Washington Singer Laboratories, Perry Road, Exeter EX4 4QC, Devon


Comparatively little is known about how patients with advanced cancer cope with palliative chemotherapy This study uses grounded theory to analyse the coping responses of 24 women with advanced breast or ovarian cancer Half the sample received chemotherapy at home, and the remainder were treated in hospital The results suggest that four predominant coping styles are used, think positive/fighter (n = 8), acceptance (n = 8), fearfulness (n = 5) and hopelessness (n = 3) In addition, a range of coping strategies that reduced the threat of chemotherapy are identified. The findings have implications for the provision of quality patient care in palliative therapy, especially in relation to individualizing patient education