Investigating coping strategies and social support among canadian melanoma patients: A survey approach

Melanie Kalbfleisch, Annette Cyr, Nancy Gregorio, Joyce Nyhof-Young


Complex support needs are involved in coping with a diagnosis of melanoma. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived social support levels and utilization of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies by Canadian melanoma patients. The impact of social support level on coping strategy utilization was also examined. Social support and coping strategies were assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS) and the 28-item Brief COPE, respectively. Perceived levels of emotional/informational support were significantly lower than affectionate support and positive social interaction. Acceptance, active coping, and use of emotional support were the most frequently utilized coping strategies. Patients with higher perceived levels of social support had significantly higher adaptive coping scores than patients with lower levels of social support. Health care professionals have an important role in promoting awareness of and access to emotional and informational support resources in order to improve perceived social support levels.

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