This study's purpose is to identify strategies used by community-dwelling African American elders to cope with their chronic health conditions. A focus group study of 28 African American elders with multiple chronic conditions was conducted. Data collection occurred during the last 4 months of 2003. The five focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Content analysis was performed on the data to ascertain coping strategies employed to manage daily life with chronic conditions. Categories of coping strategies identified are (a) dealing with it, (b) engaging in life, (c) exercising, (d) seeking information, (e) relying on God, (f) changing dietary patterns, (g) medicating, (h) self-monitoring, and (i) self-advocacy. This study expands nurses’ knowledge of the repertoire of coping strategies used by African American elders to ameliorate the effects of their chronic health conditions. Study findings will be valuable for planning intervention studies aimed at promoting successful coping.
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