Vol 15, No 4 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-09-06

open access

Page views 6014
Article views/downloads 430
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Stress coping strategies in malignant diseases among women diagnosed with breast cancer and men diagnosed with prostate cancer

Agata Wolanin1
DOI: 10.5603/PMPI.2021.0026
Palliat Med Pract 2021;15(4):275-282.


Introduction: Coping with cancer aims at the adaptation to the disease and its treatment. The study
aimed to indicate which coping strategies in cancer are used most frequently among women diagnosed
with breast cancer and men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Its other aim was to check if there are any
gender differences in the use of coping strategies.

Patients and methods: The study involved 90 patients receiving radiotherapy due to the diagnosis of
breast cancer or prostate cancer. To measure cancer coping strategies, Mini-COPE and Mini-MAC questionnaires
were used.

Results: The most frequently used coping strategies were as follows: active coping, acceptance, use of
emotional support, behavioral disengagement, turning to religion, positive reframing and fighting spirit.

Conclusions: Women diagnosed with breast cancer used venting more frequently, while men diagnosed
with prostate cancer more often than women use the strategy of self-distraction.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Juczyński Z. Radzenie sobie ze stresem spowodowanym chorobą nowotworową. In: De Walden–Gałuszko K. ed. Psychoonkologia. Biblioteka Psychiatrii Polskiej, Kraków 2000: 23–43.
  2. Lazarus RS, Folkman S. Stress, Appraisal and Coping. Springer, New York 1984.
  3. Holland JC. Social Views of Cancer and the Emergence of Psychooncology. In: Holland JC. ed. Psycho-oncology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, New York 1998.
  4. Watson M, Greer S, Young J, et al. Development of a questionnaire measure of adjustment to cancer: the MAC scale. Psychol Med. 1988; 18(1): 203–209.
  5. Pettingale KW. Coping and cancer prognosis. J Psychosom Res. 1984; 28(5): 363–364.
  6. Pearman T. Quality of life and psychosocial adjustment in gynecologic cancer survivors. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2003; 1: 33.
  7. Kershaw T, Northouse L, Kritpracha C, et al. Coping strategies and quality of life in women with advanced breast cancer and their family caregivers. Psychology & Health. 2007; 19(2): 139–155.
  8. Juczyński Z, Chrestowska-Jabłońska B. Strategie radzenia sobie z chorobą nowotworową. Psychoonkologia. 1999; 5: 3–8.
  9. Lazarus RS. Evolution of a model of stress, coping, and discrete emotions. In: Rice VS. ed. Handbook of Stress, Coping, and Health. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA 2000: 195–222.
  10. Chojnacka-Szawłowska G. Psychologiczne aspekty przewlekłych chorób somatycznych. Vizja Press and It, Warszawa 2012.
  11. Heszen-Niejodek I. Radzenie sobie z konfrontacją stresową. Now Psychol. 1991(1-2): 13–26.
  12. Pargament KI. The psychology of religion and coping. Theory, research, practice. The Guilford Press, New York-London 1997.
  13. Pargament KI, Koenig HG, Perez LM. The many methods of religious coping: development and initial validation of the RCOPE. J Clin Psychol. 2000; 56(4): 519–543, doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4679(200004)56:4<519::aid-jclp6>3.0.co;2-1.
  14. McConnell KM, Pargament KI, Ellison CG, et al. Examining the links between spiritual struggles and symptoms of psychopathology in a national sample. J Clin Psychol. 2006; 62(12): 1469–1484.
  15. Scheier MF, Carver CSA. A model of behavioral self–regulation: translating intention into action. In: Berkowitz L. ed. Advances in experimental social psychology. Academic Press, New York 1988: 303–346.
  16. Carver CS, Scheier MF, Weintraub JK. Assessing coping strategies: a theoretically based approach. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1989; 56(2): 267–283.
  17. Heszen-Niejodek I. Radzenie sobie z chorobą – przegląd zagadnień. In: Heszen-Niejodek I. ed. Jak żyć z chorobą, jak ją pokonać. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, Katowice 2000: 13–33.
  18. Juczyński Z, Ogińska-Bulik N. Narzędzia Pomiaru Stresu i Radzenia Sobie ze Stresem. Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych, Warszawa 2009.
  19. Hulbert-Williams N, Hulbert-Williams L, Whelen L, et al. The Psychological Impact of Cancer (PIC) Scale: development and comparative psychometric testing against the Mini-MAC Scale in UK and Australian cancer survivors. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research & Practice. 2019; 1(2): e8.
  20. Watson M, Greer S, Young J, et al. Development of a questionnaire measure of adjustment to cancer: the MAC scale. Psychol Med. 1988; 18(1): 203–209.
  21. Juczyński Z. Narzędzia Pomiaru w Promocji i Psychologii Zdrowia. Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych, Warszawa 2009.
  22. Religioni U, Czerw A, Deptała A. Patient mental adjustment to selected types of cancer. Psychiatria Polska. 2018; 52(1): 129–141.
  23. Rand KL, Cohee AA, Monahan PO, et al. Coping Among Breast Cancer Survivors: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Brief COPE. J Nurs Meas. 2019; 27(2): 259–276.
  24. Pascoe EC, Edvardsson D. Which coping strategies can predict beneficial feelings associated with prostate cancer? J Clin Nurs. 2016; 25(17-18): 2569–2578.