Coping with cancer during the first year after diagnosis. Assessment and intervention

Cancer. 1992 Feb 1;69(3):817-28. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19920201)69:3<817::aid-cncr2820690334>;2-s.


The emotional coping of 205 patients newly diagnosed with cancer was evaluated every 4 months during a 1-year period. Patients received a psychosocial intervention either immediately (early intervention, EI), or after a 4-month delay (later intervention, LI). No significant differences were found between the two groups, except at 8 months, when the LI group was significantly less depressed, anxious, and worried, and felt more in control than the EI group. The LI group continued to have less worry related to illness at 12 months. Patients with high ego strength had low levels of distress at baseline and may not have needed the intervention. The emotional coping of patients with breast cancer improved during the year regardless of the intervention timing. Patients with other diagnoses appeared to benefit most from the IL. It was concluded that patients with low ego strength and diagnoses other than breast cancer might be at higher risk for psychosocial complications and could benefit from the intervention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires