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American Society of Hematology, Blood Advances, 7(6), p. 2435-2442, 2022

DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005845



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Coping strategies in patients with acute myeloid leukemia

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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AbstractPatients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) face sudden-onset life-threatening disease that requires intensive treatments. Although their early disease trajectory is characterized by significant, toxic side effects, limited data are available describing coping strategies among patients with AML and how these inform patient-reported outcomes. We used cross-sectional secondary data analyses to describe coping in 160 patients with newly diagnosed high-risk AML. The Brief COPE, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist–Civilian Version, and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Leukemia were used at time of AML diagnosis to measure coping strategies, psychological distress, and quality of life (QOL), respectively. The median split method for distribution of coping domains and multivariate regression models were used to assess the relationship between coping and patient-reported outcomes. Participants (median age, 64.4 years) were mostly non-Hispanic White (86.3%), male (60.0%), and married (73.8%). Most (51.9%) had high utilization of approach-oriented coping strategies, whereas 38.8% had high utilization of avoidant coping strategies. At time of diagnosis, use of approach-oriented coping was associated with less psychological distress (anxiety, β = –0.262, P = .002; depression symptoms, β = –0.311, P < .001; and posttraumatic distress disorder symptoms, β = –0.596, P = .006) and better QOL (β = 1.491, P = .003). Use of avoidant coping was associated with more psychological distress (anxiety, β = 0.884, P < .001; depression symptoms, β = 0.697, P < .001; and posttraumatic distress disorder symptoms, β = 3.048, P < .001) and worse QOL (β = –5.696, P < .001). Patients with high-risk AML use various approach-oriented and avoidant coping strategies at time of diagnosis. Use of approach-oriented coping strategies was associated with less psychological distress and better QOL, suggesting a possible target for supportive oncology interventions.