Which coping strategies can predict beneficial feelings associated with prostate cancer?

This study aimed to identify the extent to which different coping strategies can predict benefit finding in prostate cancer experiences.

Although beginning evidence suggests that the capacity to find positives in adversity and find some benefit from cancer-associated experiences may be influenced by coping, little is known about which coping strategies can predict benefit finding in prostate cancer.


Data from men (n = 209) diagnosed with prostate cancer receiving hormone suppression therapy were analysed using descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations and backward stepwise multiple linear regression. Sociodemographic and clinical data, and self-report scales (17-item Benefit Finding Scale and Brief COPE) were used.

Bivariate analyses showed significant correlations between 14 coping strategies and benefit finding in prostate cancer. Multiple linear regression modelling showed that the predictor variables 'acceptance', 'positive reframing' and 'turning to religion' explained 35% of the variance in dependant variable benefit finding when the other variables were controlled for. Of the three predictor variables, acceptance and positive reinterpretation were most strongly related to benefit finding.

The self-reported coping strategies 'acceptance' and 'positive reframing' emerged as being most significantly predictive of benefit finding in this sample. 'Turning to religion' was also significant, but to a somewhat lesser extent in predicting benefit finding in the disruptive experience of prostate cancer.

The use of positively oriented emotional coping strategies of 'acceptance', 'positive reframing' and 'turning to religion' are influential to benefit finding in prostate cancer. An understanding of the coping strategies that are predictive to benefit finding can assist clinicians to discern and target men who are more or less likely to find benefit, and to develop person-centred support strategies and interventions with an aim to optimising positive emotional states throughout the cancer journey.

Journal of clinical nursing. 2016 Jun 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Elizabeth C Pascoe, David Edvardsson

School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia., School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.

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