Coping with prostate cancer: a meta-analytic review

J Behav Med. 2005 Jun;28(3):281-93. doi: 10.1007/s10865-005-4664-z.


The present meta-analytic review assessed the relations between coping categories and indices of adjustment in men with prostate cancer. Relevant methodological and statistical information was extracted from 33 target studies (n = 3,133 men with prostate cancer). Men with prostate cancer who used approach, problem-focused, and emotion-focused coping were healthier both psychologically and physically, although the effect sizes for problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping were more modest. For approach coping these effect sizes were particularly strong for measures of self-esteem, positive affect, depression, and anxiety. Conversely, men with prostate cancer who used avoidance coping experienced heightened negative psychological adjustment and physical health, and particularly for measures of positive mood and physical functioning. The findings of this study suggest that active approaches to coping with prostate cancer are beneficial psychologically, physically, and are positively associated with a return to pre-cancer activities.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*