Influence of Coping Style on Symptom Interference Among Adult Recipients of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Joleen C. Schoulte

Jessica A. Lohnberg

Benjamin A. Tallman

Elizabeth M. Altmaier

hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, coping, symptoms
ONF 2011, 38(5), 582-586. DOI: 10.1188/11.ONF.582-586

Purpose/Objectives: To investigate the influence of coping style on interference caused by a variety of common post-treatment symptoms after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Design: Longitudinal; secondary analysis of data from the original study that examined health-related quality-of-life variables (e.g., depression, well-being) in adult patients treated with conventional bone marrow transplantation or depleted T-cell bone marrow transplantation.

Setting: Fifteen university medical centers in the United States.

Sample: 105 adult recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Methods: Patients were assessed via telephone-based interviews for coping style at baseline and for symptom interference in daily living six months post-treatment.

Main Research Variables: Coping style and symptom interference.

Findings: Neither age nor gender predicted symptom interference, with the exception of chronic graft-versus-host disease, where older patients experienced more interference at six months, and breathing symptoms, for which women experienced more interference than men at six months. Avoidant coping style at baseline predicted increased interference from symptoms, but emotion-focused and instrumental coping styles did not predict decreased interference.

Conclusions: A generalized avoidant coping style before treatment increased interference from common cancer symptoms six months after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Implications for Nursing: An intervention to teach alternate coping strategies should be implemented prior to treatment and tested for prevention of symptom-related life interference.

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