Essay Example on Evaluation on the role of illness representations the process of Coping








This essay will include an evaluation on the role of illness representations the process of coping and how individuals adjust psychologically to living with a chronic illness The essay includes a discussion on 7 research papers that studies how individuals cope and live with breast and lung cancer Further the essay will link psychologists theories and models on coping how individuals interpret their illness and how coping interventions help individuals who are suffering with lung cancer with the research papers being used as supporting evidence The essay will then end with a conclusion to the findings These 2 forms of cancers were chosen as there was an interest to research how differently or similar women and men cope with the illness My predicament is that women would cope better than men through seeking help Cancer is the second deadliest disease worldwide World Health Organization WHO 2017 It was reported that 8 8 million of deaths in 2015 was due to cancer that is 1 in 6 deaths worldwide WHO 2017 Two of the most common types of cancer are lung and breast cancer WHO 2017 Lung cancer claimed 1 69 million lives and breast cancer claimed 571 000 lives WHO 2017

The only way that these death rates can go down is by detecting the cancer early as it will accept the treatment and work with it and by women having regular screenings for cervical cancer and breast cancer WHO 2017 Lazarus and Folkman 1984 interpret the term coping as an individual's thoughts and behaviours which are used to manage perceived demands Walker Payne Jarrett Ley 2012 p 157 The way in which individuals respond to coping come in two groups for example Folkman and Lazarus in 1985 came up with the problem focused and emotion focused coping strategy Walker et al 2012 Individuals who have a long term illness for example cancer are likely to take the emotion focused strategy as they would rather avoid the situation because of the lack of control they have Walker et al 2012 This helps the individual to avoid stress in the short term but as the illness progresses the stress eventually increases over the long term Walker et al 2012 The supporting evidence for this is the first research paper the study found that the women were taking an emotion focused approach as they would not talk about cancer related topics with the other spouse Yu Sherman 2015 The women were less worried about discussing treatment for the illness which is a problem focused strategy as they are facing their situation head on and are ready to better their situation by consulting about treatment Yu Sherman 2015 Although the study found that depression 16 1 anxiety 14 2 and stress 11 5 Yu Sherman 2015 was much higher in women who s spouse did not talk about cancer as the topic was being avoided which hindered how the women decided to cope Yu Sherman 2015

As this study was done on women who were either married or in a relationship it is not a clear representative of how every woman decides to cope with cancer Women without a partner would only have the health professionals family to talk to which may result in a better outcome as they do not have the worries or pressure of needing to look good for their other half Although this paper could be deemed as credible because it is an online survey the women feel as though they have confidentiality which would give the researchers the most honest opinions Roth and Cohen 1986 cited in Ogden 2012 there are two coping styles approach and avoidance style of coping approach coping is where the individual seeks to sort out the problem and understand the situation they're in The second research paper demonstrates the approach style of coping by Roth and Cohen 1986 as well as the problem focused coping strategy by Folkman and Lazarus 1985 In recent times it is thought that although coping can affect the individual negatively it can bring positivity to an individual's life the name for this is stress related growth Park et al 1996 cited in Ogden 2012 For example most of the women took a problem focused approach and approach style of coping 6 months after being diagnosed 56 of women strengthened their relationships with others and they appreciated their life more which was a positive outcome Silva Crespo Canavarro 2012 Because the women were making sense of the situation they were in and given advice it made them realise they could address any future problems or situations that may worry them in a more effective way Tedeschi Calhoun 1996 cited in Silva et al 2012

By accepting their situation and taking action this improved posttraumatic growth and abled them to see the positive side to the situation they were in and when the researchers followed up a year after diagnosis there were lower rates of depression and anxiety in those women Silva et al 2012 This is a good research as they could see the patients on more than one occasion and was able to get a mix of opinions on how the women were coping before and after the operation the only weakness in this is that only 50 women participated This is good as the researchers could get in depth answers and good understanding but we must be aware that not all women deal as well with the illness What about women who go through this and have no close relationships to strengthen Although to support this the third research paper which is a study on women with breast cancer and posttraumatic which state that because the women are getting the social support they need about their illness their posttraumatic growth increases during their treatment and gives them a more positive outlook Danhauer et al 2013

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