Coping with advanced cancer: Caregivers and their patients
Background. Being diagnosed with advanced cancer may be one of the most difficult challenges a person faces. To help deal with advanced cancer, patients and caregivers lean towards the coping skills most familiar to them. Depending on the person, one’s coping may either help or perpetuate the problem. Purpose. To identify predictors of negative coping skills among a group patients and caregivers, and to identify the predictors of prolonged grief among a group of providers, 6-months post loss. Methods. Advanced cancer patients and caregivers were interviewed at the time of their enrollment (baseline) and caregivers were interviewed 6 months after the patient’s death (post-loss). Each participant was administered questionnaires regarding demographics, mental health disorders, mental health service use, coping methods, quality of life, and suicide attempts. Patients were asked about their treatment and diagnosis. Other patient-related information was obtained from medical charts. Moreover, caregivers were given an assessment regarding their alcohol and smoking history. Results. Among White patients, positive coping skills were positively correlated with quality of life and negative coping skills were negatively correlated with quality of life. Gender, psychiatric disorders, suicidality, alcohol and smoking history, and treatment and diagnosis, were significantly related to negative coping skills; however this relationship only held for Hispanic patients. Gender and psychiatric disorders demonstrated predictive value for negative coping skills among all patients. On the other hand, psychiatric disorders, major depression, anxiety disorder, suicidality, and alcohol and smoking history, were not significant predictors of which caregivers experienced prolonged grief. Conclusion. There was a significant relationship between quality of life and positive and negative coping skills of patients and negative coping skills for caregivers. Factors such as gender, psychiatric disorders, suicidality, alcohol and smoking history, and treatment and diagnosis demonstrated predictive value for negative coping skills in patients.
Morris, Angela M, "Coping with advanced cancer: Caregivers and their patients" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445479.