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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Oct;68(5):875-82.

Emotionally expressive coping predicts psychological and physical adjustment to breast cancer.

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Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence 66045-2160, USA.


This study tested the hypothesis that coping through emotional approach, which involves actively processing and expressing emotions, enhances adjustment and health status for breast cancer patients. Patients (n = 92) completed measures within 20 weeks following medical treatment and 3 months later. Women who, at study entry, coped through expressing emotions surrounding cancer had fewer medical appointments for cancer-related morbidities, enhanced physical health and vigor, and decreased distress during the next 3 months compared with those low in emotional expression, with age, other coping strategy scores, and initial levels on dependent variables (except medical visits) controlled statistically. Expressive coping also was related to improved quality of life for those who perceived their social contexts as highly receptive. Coping through emotional processing was related to one index of greater distress over time. Analyses including dispositional hope suggested that expressive coping may serve as a successful vehicle for goal pursuit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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