Patient-reported stressful events and coping strategies in post-menopausal women with breast cancer

Maria Browall, E. Kenne Sarenmalm, L. O. Persson, Y. Wengström, F. Gaston-Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The objective of this paper was to explore what stressful events post-menopausal women with primary or recurrent breast cancer experience, how bothersome these events were and which coping strategies these women used. Data were collected from 131 patients diagnosed with primary or recurrent breast cancer. The Daily Coping Assessment was used. Thematic analysis was applied to form themes of stressful events. Six types of stressful events were extracted. The most frequently experienced events for women with primary cancer and those with recurrent cancer were 'distressing bodily symptoms'. The most bothersome event among primary cancer was 'everyday concerns' and in the recurrent group, 'distressing psychological reactions'. The most commonly used strategies were 'acceptance', 'distraction' and 'relaxation'. This study shows that women in different parts of the cancer trajectory differ in what they perceive to be stressful events when reporting them in their own words in a diary. The differences have an impact on the subsequent coping strategies they used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Coping strategies
  • Diary
  • Level of bother
  • Post-menopausal
  • Stressful events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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