Purpose: This study investigates coping styles in patients suffering from different brain disorders (malignant brain tumors, stroke, Parkinson's disease and traumatic brain injury).
Method: In a combined analysis of four prospective studies we investigated 21 patients with malignant glioma at the end radiochemotherapy, 30 patients one year after ischemic stroke, 54 patients suffering from various stages of Parkinson's disease, and 58 patients 6 to 8.5 months after traumatic brain injury. The assessment of coping with illness was based on the Freiburg Questionnaire on Coping with illness.
Results: With few exceptions, coping styles did not differ across the various brain pathologies. Differences occurred with respect to 'active, problem-oriented coping' (decreased in stroke patients), and coping by search for religious relief or quest for sense (increased in patients with Parkinson's disease).
Conclusion: Differences in coping styles could be mainly related to age and social factors. Individual coping strategies seem only to be little related to the type of brain pathology.