Coping Strategies Linked to Distress, QOL in Caregivers of Stem Cell Recipients

Caregivers with approach-oriented coping strategy have less anxiety and depression symptoms, better quality of life

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TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For caregivers of patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), coping is related to psychological distress and quality of life (QOL), according to a study published online Nov. 18 in Blood Advances.

Hermioni L. Amonoo, M.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of data obtained during a multisite randomized clinical trial of a supportive care intervention in HSCT recipients and their caregivers. To measure coping strategies, psychological distress, and QOL, the Brief COPE, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Caregiver Oncology Quality of Life Questionnaire were completed by caregivers. Coping was grouped into approach-oriented (emotional support, active coping) and avoidant (self-blame, denial) domains. A total of 170 caregivers were enrolled (median age, 53 years).

The researchers found that less anxiety and depression symptoms and better QOL were seen in association with approach-oriented coping. In contrast, more anxiety and depression symptoms and worse QOL were seen with avoidant coping.

"Strategies such as active problem-solving and positive reframing seemed to be more helpful for caregivers than strategies such as denial and self-blame," Amonoo said in a statement. "In this study, we didn't find an association between religious coping strategies and caregiver distress or QOL, although some previous smaller studies have found such an association."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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