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Transplant Proc. 2007 Jul-Aug;39(6):1992-4.

Coping strategies in intestinal transplantation.

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  • 1Liver and Multiorgan Transplant Unit, Policlinico S Orsola-Malpighi, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


The psychological construct of coping has been studied extensively in other medical populations and has more recently been applied in the field of transplant psychology. Coping can be defined as all abilities used by people to face problematical and stressful situations, as the data in literature describe the experience of transplantation. The purpose of this study was to describe the coping styles used by 25 intestinal transplant recipients. To assess the coping strategies, we used the Italian version of Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) by Sica, Novara, Dorz, and Sanavio (1997). The authors divided these strategies into three classes: problem-focused, emotion-focused, and potentially disadaptive strategies. This questionnaire is usually used in a medical setting. Even if the long process of psychological-clinical adaptation required by intestinal transplantation put patients in a passive acceptance of their situation and their incapacity to face it, our patients showed high levels of problem-focused strategies, indicators of positive outcomes for this intervention. Anyway, this is a slow and gradual path that goes with the psychological distress and the need for a peculiar psychological support of problem-focused strategies. The result suggested that assessment of coping strategies should be explored in intestinal transplant to encourage the use of action-oriented methods and discourage those with possible negative effects.

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