The Relationships Among Coping Strategies, Religious Coping, and Spirituality in African American Women With Breast Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives:

To (a) examine coping capacity, psychological distress, spiritual well-being, positive and negative religious coping, and coping strategies among African American (AA) women with breast cancer, and (b) explore relationships among these variables to enhance an already tested comprehensive coping strategy program (CCSP) intervention for AA women with breast cancer (CCSP-AA).

Design:

Descriptive-correlational.

Setting:

Comprehensive cancer center in Maryland.

Sample:

17 AA women with breast cancer.

Methods:

Women completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Sense of Coherence scale, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Spiritual Well-Being, Brief Religious Coping Inventory, and Coping Strategies Questionnaire.

Main Research Variables:

Psychological distress, coping capacity, coping strategies, religious coping, and spiritual well-being.

Findings:

A higher coping capacity was beneficial, as it was related to less psychological distress, negative religious coping, and catastrophizing. Women using less negative religious coping had greater spiritual well-being and less distress. Using more coping self-statements was associated with higher spiritual well-being and less negative religious coping. Catastrophizing had a negative effect on psychological distress and spiritual well-being.

Conclusions:

The development of a CCSP-AA that incorporates aspects of spirituality and components in a coping intervention needs to be tested in a clinical trial. The intervention will teach patients to recognize and restructure their thinking to avoid catastrophizing and negative religious coping. Implications for Nursing: Nurses need to work collaboratively with AA women to reinforce beneficial coping patterns and approaches. A tailored CCSP-AA for women with breast cancer administered by a nurse can be taught to assist AA patients in coping more effectively.

Knowledge Translation:

AA women with breast cancer use more positive religious coping and experience less distress and greater spiritual well-being, but catastrophizing has a negative effect on spiritual well-being. Nurses need to reinforce positive coping patterns for AA women with cancer.

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