Journal Article Psychological Stress and Coping in Recently Discharged Postsurgical Cancer Patients

Mizuno, Michiyo  ,  Taniguchi, Ai

3 ( 2 )  , pp.176 - 182 , 2016-06 , Medknow
Objective: Cancer patients and survivors need to cope with various stressful situations and problems even after treatment. In this study, we sought to investigate psychological stress and coping in recently discharged postsurgical cancer patients.
Methods: A mail-in questionnaire survey about stress response, perceived illness-related demands, and coping strategies and styles was administered to postsurgical Japanese cancer patients. The questionnaires were returned a week after the patients' discharge from the hospital. Descriptive and nonparametric statistical analyses were used.
Results: Forty-two patients completed the questionnaire; their average age was 58.1 years, and 61.9% were female. The stress response scale-18 (SRS-18) score was lower than that reported among the general population. The proportion of patients who were concentrating coping on social support or positive reappraisal was high. The scores for problem- and emotion-focused coping were nearly identical. SRS-18 scores were weakly correlated with those for emotion-focused coping (r = 0.38, P = 0.014). The demographic data were not significantly associated with any of the stress or coping variables. However, SRS-18 scores for patients who had adjuvant therapy and physical, functional disorders were significantly higher than those for patients who did not (P = 0.004 and P = 0.008, respectively).
Conclusions: Most of the patients had a low-stress response and used appropriate coping strategies. However, the findings suggest that attention must be paid to stress-coping in patients who have a physical, functional disorder as well as in those receiving adjuvant therapy.

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