ARTICLESYounger Women's Perceptions of Coping With Breast CancerManuel, Janeen C. PhD; Burwell, Stephanie R. PhD; Crawford, Sybil L. PhD; Lawrence, Renee H. PhD; Farmer, Deborah F. PhD; Hege, Anita RN, MPH; Phillips, Kimberly RN, PhD; Avis, Nancy E. PhDAuthor Information From the Department of Public Health Sciences, Section on Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC (Drs Manuel, Farmer, Phillips, Avis, Ms Hege); Department of Child and Family Development, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga (Dr Burwell); Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Ma (Dr Crawford); VAHSR&D Center for Quality Improvement Research, Louis Stokes Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Lawrence). This research was supported by grant #R01 CA64716 from the National Cancer Institute. Corresponding author: Nancy E. Avis, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, Section on Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Piedmont Plaza II-2nd floor, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1063 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Accepted for publication May 16, 2006. Cancer Nursing: March-April 2007 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 85-94 doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000265001.72064.dd Buy Metrics Abstract Numerous studies have demonstrated an association between coping strategies and better quality of life after breast cancer. Because younger women consistently show greater psychological morbidity than older women after breast cancer diagnosis, there is great interest in the coping strategies of younger women. The present cross-sectional study used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine coping strategies used by 201 women who were aged 50 years or younger at diagnosis and were 6 months to 3.5 years postdiagnosis. Quantitative results from a modified version of the Ways of Coping scale revealed that the most frequently used coping strategies were positive cognitive restructuring, wishful thinking, and making changes. Qualitative analyses based on open-ended questioning of how women best coped with different stressful aspects of their diagnosis showed that women reported finding different strategies useful depending on the stressor. For example, social support was helpful in dealing with anger or depression, whereas positive cognitive restructuring was more helpful for concerns about the future. Analyses also confirmed that most coping strategies cited in commonly administered coping scales were used frequently by these women. However, several coping strategies not generally measured were also deemed valuable, including engaging in physical activity, using medications, and resting. These findings suggest that clinicians should identify patients' particular stressors and help with coping techniques targeting particular concerns. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.