Coping strategies of female breast cancer patients at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital in Ghana
Female breast cancer patients face multiple challenges, which include but not limited to: stigmatization, financial drain and emotional turmoil. In the midst of all these challenges, it is unclear the coping strategies the female patients adopt to ease their predicament. It is against this background that this study explored some coping strategies adopted by the patients at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital in Ghana. One on one in-depth interviews were conducted to elicit information from twenty female breast cancer patients and five clinicians. Observation was also adopted to validate/supplement the data received. ABC-X model informed the study. It was discovered that patients adopted in-group support as a means of coping with the illness. Religion was very instrumental in the coping mechanisms adopted by the women. It served as a safe haven for them. It is recommended, among other things, that hospitals should spearhead the formation of informal breast cancer advisory groups to help educate and support patients.
Keywords: Breast Cancer, Patients, Coping Strategies, illness, diagnosis, Support Systems