Stressors and Coping Strategies Among Women Breast Cancer Survivors at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi County, Kenya
Keywords:breast cancer, coping, strategies, stressors, women
A diagnosis of breast cancer often leads to psychological distress among the affected women, and the distress often continues even after recovery and this affects their quality of life. They continue to suffer serious psychological distress even many years after treatment and recovery thus there is need to help them effectively cope with their situation. There are different coping strategies that cancer survivors use to try and overcome the stressors facing them with some being effective while others are not. The aim of this study was identifying the stressors and coping strategies among women breast cancer survivors. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted. Study sample size was 132 clients diagnosed with breast cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Cancer Treatment Center (CTC). The data was analyzed using Stata version 15 statistical software and descriptive and inferential statistics were generated and used to make appropriate conclusions and recommendations. Data was presented using graphs, pie charts, tables and other diagrams. The findings revealed that the average age of respondents was 43.5 (SD±12.7) years. The minimum age was 26 years while the maximum age was 63 years. On level of education 29.5% (n =39) of the respondents had secondary level education, 25%(n =33), 53%(n =70) were single. Our findings revealed that 54% of the respondents were able to cope effectively while 46% of the respondents had challenges in coping with the disease after treatment. Most of the respondents employed problem-based strategies such as accepting their condition, seeking emotional support from friends and family and seeking religious intervention. Emotion based strategies were also prevalent including application of humor to deal with their condition, crying and employing self-distraction through participating in social activities. Age, level of education and financial burden were found to have an influence on coping among patients. The findings have showed both psychological and physiological stressors are high among breast cancer survivors. Thus, it is imperative to encourage breast cancer survivors to conducted regular tests to evaluate their progress. This would be essential in controlling recurrence of the disease as a barrier and encourage breast cancer survivors to adopt problem-based strategies for improved quality of life.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Patrick Chege Kuria, Grace Githemo, Nelson Menza
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