Impact of Coping on Quality of Life in Cancer Patients
S. Kreitler1, M.M. Kreitler2
1Tel-Aviv University, School of Psychological Sciences
2Sheba Medical Center, Psychooncology Research Center, Tel Hashomer
Objectives: Studies of coping and quality of life (QOL) mostly consist of one assessment of patients in different phases. The goal was to assess the level and effects of specific copings on specific QOL domains in cancer patients in the month around diagnosis and 10-12 months later. Methods: The participants were 52 cancer patients with different diagnoses. They were administered the Multidimensional Inventory of Coping and the QOL Questionnaire two weeks after diagnosis and two weeks after treatment termination. Findings: Coping strategies and quality of life levels differed in the two phases of the study: Denial and fighting spirit in coping and work, negative emotions, and physical needs in QOL were higher in the first phase; and in the second phase stoic acceptance and changing life style in coping and social functioning and meaningfulnesss inQOL. The coping strategy with the strongest impact on QOL in the first phase was positive emotions and in the second phase focusing on oneself. Conclusions: Coping strategies and affected domains of QOL change in the course of the illness and the treatments as well as their interactions.