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

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PURPOSE: 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.
METHOD: 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.
RESULTS: Patient’s coping strategies is 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 ended treatment, 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.
CONCLUSION: Patients with malignant lymphoma cope with cancer in different ways in everyday life influenced by their life experiences and life conditions. Further research must focus on cancer patients’ coping strategies in a relational perspective, as coping and coping opportunities are embedded in social context and social relationships.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Omvårdnad


  • malignant lymphoma, Chemotherapy, sense of coherence, Antonovsky, everyday life, interview study
TidskriftEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa