Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) causes significant physical, social, psychological, and emotional stress in patients with leukemia. This qualitative study using semi-structured interviews explored the coping strategies of 10 adults with acute leukemia who were undergoing this form of treatment in transplantation units in a major hospital in Tehran, Iran, from 2009 to 2010. A content analysis identified eight themes and 13 subthemes that described the participants' coping strategies. The major themes were: attribution, denial and avoidance, connection with divine purpose, organizing treatment, seeking social support, modifying, reflection, and patience and resignation. A deeper understanding of the coping strategies that are used by patients with leukemia undergoing HSCT can help healthcare providers to encourage patients to use strategies that are likely to be more effective. Such coping strategies also can help patients to achieve a greater sense of empowerment.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.