Coping with Women’s Cancer and Perceived Providers’ Support: Does Type of Cancer Make a Difference?


Women with cancer utilize a variety of coping strategies to meet their emotional and informational support needs. Different cancer diagnoses are likely to influence patients’ coping and providers’ effectiveness in meeting their needs, but the relationship among coping dimensions and type of diagnosis are largely unknown. This study explored the relationship among diagnosis with ovarian or breast cancer, coping strategies, and perceived importance of nurses and physicians’ informational and emotional support. Methods included a survey with women who were diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer. Results indicated differences between women with breast cancer compared to those with ovarian cancer in coping strategies and perceived importance of support from health care providers. Coping strategies were related to differences in perceived importance of health care providers support.These findings highlight the importance of meeting women’s cancer-related support needs in cancer care settings by considering their coping style and diagnosis. Keywords: cancer communication, communication in health care settings, coping, patient-provider communication,women’s cancer