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Cancer Nurs. 2002 Aug;25(4):309-17.

Symptom distresses and coping strategies in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Tri-Service General Hospital and National Yang Ming University Institute of Clinical Nursing, Taiwan, ROC.


The purpose of this study is to understand the correlation of symptom distresses and coping strategies of patients with lung cancer. Seventy-three patients with non-small cell lung cancer from the cancer center or ward in the two medical centers located in northern Taiwan participated. The instruments used in this study were the Symptom Distress Scale and Coping Strategies Scale. The results of the study showed that the degree of symptom distress during the therapeutic period was mild to moderate. When patients were confronted with symptom distress, they combined problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies. Participants with higher physical symptom distress had higher psychological distress and emotion-focused coping strategy frequency. It was also found that the distress of tension-anxiety and age explained 39.4% of variance in physical symptom distresses. The physical symptom distresses and the frequency of emotion-focused coping strategy frequency explained 48.8% of variance in the psychologic symptom distresses. Finally, it is recommend that a support group be established to enable sharing of experiences and emotional support among patients.

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