Coping with Cancer: Taking Action to Adapt to the Realities of Cancer and Treatment
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and better understand problems and ways of coping with cancer and treatment and then identify interventions that nurses may use to address issues identified as problematic and assist patients to cope more effectively with cancer. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze data obtained from audio taped and transcribed interviews with three individuals with cancer who were undergoing treatment. Taking action was the core category that described the experiences and problems facing patients with cancer undergoing treatment. The following seven supporting categories describe patients’ ability to take action, cope, and achieve personal control: (a) seeking information, (b) enduring physical symptoms, (c) maintaining hope, (d) finding meaning, (e) establishing social support systems, (f) accepting change and I loss, and (g) acknowledging fear and emotions. These findings provide nurses with a basic framework for practice as well as a greater understanding of how patients with cancer cope.