Review: limited evidence exists on the effect of psychological coping styles on cancer survival or recurrence
QUESTION: In patients with cancer, do psychological coping styles such as fighting spirit, helplessness/hopelessness, denial, and avoidance improve survival or prevent recurrence?
Studies up to June 2002 were identified by searching Medline, PsycINFO, ASSIA, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Cancerlit, CINAHL, and Dissertation Abstracts. Bibliographies of relevant articles were reviewed, and experts were contacted for unpublished information.
Studies published in any language were selected if they were cohort studies, patients had cancer, and outcomes included mortality, survival, or recurrence. Exclusion criteria included studies of the association between coping and immune responses or other biochemical markers (if this was the only outcome reported) and studies of personality types (eg, “type C” personality).
Data were extracted on sample size, styles of coping, site of cancer, …