Selected determinants of strategies to cope with the disease among women treated for gynecological cancer

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2016;126(4): 161-164

Marzena Bucholc1, Marta Kucharczyk2, Katarzyna Kanadys1,
Krzysztof Wiktor3, Henryk Wiktor1

1 Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Obstetric-Gynaecological Nursing, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2 Graduate of Obstetrics, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
3 Chair and Department of Gynaecology and Gynaecological Endocrinology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

DOI: 10.1515/pjph-2016-0033

Abstract

Introduction. The cancer of the reproductive organ, due to its specificity, is an extremely difficult situation for a woman.
Aim. The aim of the study was to answer the question what are the determinants of strategies to cope with the disease among women treated for cancer of the reproductive organ.
Material and methods. The study included 102 women treated for gynecological cancer. To assess coping strategies with disease, denoting adaptation to cancer, a Mini-Mac standardized scale of the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Diseases and the own construction questionnaire were used. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi² test, Mann-Whitney U test, W. Shapiro-Wilk, Kruskal-Wallis tests. 
Results. Research shows that most respondents coped with the disease using the strategy: the fighting spirit (FS), and positive reevaluation (PR), but to a lesser degree they applied preoccupation with anxiety (PwA) and helplessness – hopelessness strategy (HH).
Conclusions.
1. Most of the women fighting against cancer used constructive strategies, while the remaining part – the destructive ones. Choosing the type is determined by factors like the duration of the disease, the incidence of complications during treatment, subjective evaluation of how to improve the health status and satisfaction with treatment or length of hospital stay.
2. Strategies of mental adaptation significantly affect the course of treatment. The use of absorbing anxiety causes significantly more women not to feel the improvement of health and hospitalization for them is a traumatic experience. In contrast, a form of helplessness – hopelessness is associated with low satisfaction with treatment, and lack of improvement in subjective health. People who use fighting spirit were significantly more satisfied with the results of treatment.

Keywords

gynecological cancer, coping strategies.

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