Background: Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide. Being the second leading cause of death in the world, this fearsome disease is a stressful event capable to cause a time of considerable upheaval in people’s lives and their loved ones. The illness condition can influence the patients’ social relationships, even reducing social involvement and fostering isolation. Hence, cancer adjustment-related variables are worth studying. Specifically, the research on coping strategies is crucial since the patients’ response style can act on the quality of the psychosocial outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was deepening the association between coping styles and perceived social support from family, friends, and significant others among a sample of 121 cancer patients. Method: Participants were 121 cancer patients (70.2% females), aged 26 to 88 (M=61.90, SD=12.16). We assessed the adopted coping strategies by means of the Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (mini-MAC Scale), whereas the perceived social support was measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Results: We found: (1) a positive association between fighting spirit and the perception of social support from friends; (2) the hopelessness/helplessness strategy seemed negatively related with the perception of social support, regardless of the source; (3) higher levels of fatalism were connected with higher levels of perceived social support from family; (4) both anxious preoccupation and avoidance did not show any association with perceived social support. Conclusions: Working on maladaptive coping responses might be useful for the purpose of improving the receptivity to the support from family, friends and significant others. Further research focusing on patients’ coping styles is needed to promote holistic-oriented psychological treatments.

Coping strategies and perceived social support among cancer patients: A cross-sectional analysis

Palmira Faraci
;
Rossella Bottaro;Giuseppe Craparo
2021

Abstract

Background: Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide. Being the second leading cause of death in the world, this fearsome disease is a stressful event capable to cause a time of considerable upheaval in people’s lives and their loved ones. The illness condition can influence the patients’ social relationships, even reducing social involvement and fostering isolation. Hence, cancer adjustment-related variables are worth studying. Specifically, the research on coping strategies is crucial since the patients’ response style can act on the quality of the psychosocial outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was deepening the association between coping styles and perceived social support from family, friends, and significant others among a sample of 121 cancer patients. Method: Participants were 121 cancer patients (70.2% females), aged 26 to 88 (M=61.90, SD=12.16). We assessed the adopted coping strategies by means of the Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (mini-MAC Scale), whereas the perceived social support was measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Results: We found: (1) a positive association between fighting spirit and the perception of social support from friends; (2) the hopelessness/helplessness strategy seemed negatively related with the perception of social support, regardless of the source; (3) higher levels of fatalism were connected with higher levels of perceived social support from family; (4) both anxious preoccupation and avoidance did not show any association with perceived social support. Conclusions: Working on maladaptive coping responses might be useful for the purpose of improving the receptivity to the support from family, friends and significant others. Further research focusing on patients’ coping styles is needed to promote holistic-oriented psychological treatments.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/145861
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