Coping strategies among patients with malignant lymphoma– a qualitative study from the perspectives of Swedish patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is a dearth of research on coping strategies of patients with malignant lymphoma. The aim of this article is to explore how these patients cope with cancer in everyday life.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine patients in Sweden. A thematic analysis was made, inspired by Antonovsky's theory of sense of coherence. The SRQR checklist was used.
Patient's coping strategies are shown within three themes: ‘Life experiences supported coping strategies during treatment’, ‘Between completed treatment and (possible) cure’, and ‘Illness brought closeness and distance in social relationships’. Three different coping strategies were identified during treatment: trying to control the situation, seeing opportunities in difficulties, and doing other activities to limit thoughts about disease and treatment. Four different coping strategies were identified after treatment ended, namely projecting responsibility and anger onto the healthcare system, maintaining the outer facade as a strong person who had control over the situation, talking about disease, side effects and emotions and putting the focus on the future, and managing life by anticipating death. Family =and friends were a part of patients' coping strategies, but to different extents and in different ways. Diagnosis and treatment for malignant lymphoma brought closeness and distance in social relationships.

Patients with malignant lymphoma cope with cancer in different ways in everyday life influenced by their life experiences and life conditions. Further research should focus on cancer patients’ coping strategies in a relational perspective, as coping and coping opportunities are embedded in social context and social relationships.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


Original languageEnglish
Article number101693
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch