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RESEARCH IN BRIEF
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-64

Distress and coping in cancer patients experiencing chemotherapy-induced alopecia


1 College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Departments of Medical Oncology, CMC, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Departments of Biostatistics, CMC, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Rini Wils
College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJCN.IJCN_4_19

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Alopecia is a major issue related to body image. Hair symbolises life and identity, plays an important role in social communication reflecting the social class, sex, profession and religious belief. Chemotherapy-induced alopecia is a condition that can affect psychosocial well-being and quality of life of a cancer patient resulting in anxiety, depression, a negative body image and lowered self-esteem. This study was designed to assess the level of distress and coping in cancer patients experiencing chemotherapy-induced alopecia. A descriptive study design was used, and a convenience sampling technique was used to select 150 subjects experiencing chemotherapy-induced alopecia in the oncology wards of a tertiary hospital. Chemotherapy-induced alopecia distress scale was used to assess the level of distress and chemotherapy-induced alopecia coping scale was used to assess various coping strategies among subjects. A high level of distress was experienced by 59.3% of the subjects and 60% of them had moderate coping. There was a weak negative (r = −0.083) and a weak positive (r = 0.238) correlation between the level of distress and passive and active coping strategies, respectively. The significant factors associated with distress were gender, financial source for treatment, diagnosis, type of chemotherapeutic drug, number of cycles offered and major coping strategy adopted. Factors such as number of children, family income, duration of illness and occupation of the patient showed significant association with the coping strategies. This study highlighted the need for the health-care team to be more sensitive to the less explored area of cancer treatment which would lead to an improved quality of life throughout the patient's illness process.


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