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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005 Sep;30(3):243-53.

Relationship of problem-focused coping strategies to changes in quality of life following treatment for early stage breast cancer.

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Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.


This study examined whether problem-focused coping strategies used by early stage breast cancer patients at the end of treatment could predict changes in quality of life six months later. One hundred forty-six women completed measures of problem-focused coping and quality of life at the end of early stage breast cancer treatment. Quality of life was reassessed six months later. Women who focused more on their symptoms at treatment end experienced less physical and mental quality-of-life improvement six months later. Women more likely to seek out information about their illness experienced greater physical quality-of-life improvement. The relationship of focusing on symptoms with quality of life was broad-based; the relationship of information seeking with quality of life was limited to improvements in physical functioning. Results suggest that focusing on symptoms is a maladaptive approach to illness, but that information seeking may yield benefits to physical recovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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