Patients' coping profiles and partners' support provision

Aleksandra Luszczynska, Denis Gerstorf, Sonja Boehmer, Nina Knoll, Ralf Schwarzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study explored whether 13 coping strategies exhibited in the week after cancer surgery could be aggregated into a smaller number of meaningful coping profiles. Moreover, patients' coping profiles and genders were examined as predictors of partners' support provision in the month after surgery. Coping strategies were measured with Brief COPE questionnaire, and provided partner support was assessed with Berlin Social Support Scales. Cluster analysis based on 321 patients yielded three distinct coping patterns: Accommodative Coping, Disengaging Coping, and Assimilative Coping. These encapsulate ways and extent of coping during the week after cancer surgery. Accommodative Coping was characterized by low levels of active problem-directed strategies but a high degree of acceptance and humour, whereas Assimilative Coping represented positive reframing and active strategies. Based on 122 couples, associations between patients' coping profiles and subsequent spousal support provision were examined. Partners provided least support to patients in the Accommodative Coping category and most support to patients in the Assimilative Coping category. Female partners provided more support than did male partners. Patients' coping behaviours in the week after cancer surgery affected subsequent provision of support by their partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-764
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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