Advertisement

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 619–627 | Cite as

Male coping processes as demonstrated in the context of a cancer-related social support group

  • Stephen K. Trapp
  • Jacqueline D. Woods
  • Alicia Grove
  • Marilyn Stern
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The coping styles of five adult men within the context of a cancer-related social support group and their preferences regarding group support were examined.

Methods

Considering the paucity of literature on male coping processes within a cancer-related social support group, qualitative methods were employed. Specifically, template analysis was used to analyze the range and quality of coping styles.

Results

In contrast to the commonly cited solitary and emotionally restricted coping qualities associated with the male gender role, an emphasis on seeking connection and emotional support in their coping efforts was discovered. Preferences of group qualities (e.g., participant characteristics and session topics) that emerged included an interest in connection, mixed sex groups, and groups composed of mixed diagnoses.

Conclusions

The findings of this study can contribute to the development of interventions aimed at increasing the effectiveness of male coping in group-focused supportive services in cancer care.

Keywords

Coping Cancer Support group Men Gender role 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the following institution and people for their support in preparing this manuscript: Gilda's Club International; Andrew Finch, Ph.D.; and Allison Palmberg, BS.

Conflict of interest

The authors have none to declare.

References

  1. 1.
    Davison KP, Pennebaker JW, Dickerson SS (2000) Who talks? The social psychology of illness support groups. Am Psychol 55:205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Holland JC (2002) History of psycho-oncology: overcoming attitudinal and conceptual barriers. Psychosom Med 64:206–221PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gottlieb BH, Wachala ED (2007) Cancer support groups: a critical review of empirical studies. Psychooncology 16:379–400PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Grande GL, Myers LB, Sutton SR (2006) How do patients who participate in cancer support groups differ from those who do not? Psychooncology 15:321–334PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Magen RH, Glajchen M (1999) Cancer support groups: client outcome and the context of group process. Res Social Work Prac 9:541–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Spiegel D, Bloom JR, Yalom I (1981) Group support for patients with metastatic cancer: a randomized prospective outcome study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 38:527–533PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edelman SA, Craig A, Kidman AD (2000) Group interventions with cancer patients: efficacy of psychoeducational versus supportive groups. J Psychosoc Oncol 18:67–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lieberman MA (2008) Gender and online cancer support groups: issues facing male cancer patients. J Cancer Educ 23:167–171PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Keller M, Henrich G (1999) Illness-related distress: does it mean the same for men and women? Gender aspects in cancer patients' distress and adjustment. Acta Oncol 38:747–755PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Moynihan C (2002) Men, women, gender and cancer. Eur J Cancer Care 11:166–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Thaxton L, Emshof JG, Guessous O (2005) Prostate cancer support groups. J Psychosoc Oncol 23:25–40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Visser A, Van Andel G (2000) Education and counseling in cancer: the neglected case of the prostate cancer patients. Patient Educ Couns 40:197–199PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Voerman B et al (2007) Determinants of participation in social support groups for prostate cancer patients. Psychooncology 16:1092–1099PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bloch S et al (2007) Psychological adjustment of men with prostate cancer: a review of the literature. BioPsychoSoc Med 1:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Roesch SC et al (2005) Coping with prostate cancer: a meta-analytic review. J Behav Med 28:281–293PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Harrison J, Maguire P, Pitceathly C (1995) Confiding in crisis: gender differences in pattern of confiding among cancer patients. Soc Sci Med 41:1255–1260PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Krizek C et al (1999) Gender and cancer support group participation. Cancer Pract 7:86–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Manii D, Ammerman D (2008) Men and cancer: a study of the needs of male cancer patients in treatment. J Psychosoc Oncol 26:87PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Neumann M et al (2010) Barriers to using psycho-oncology services: a qualitative research into the perspectives of users, their relatives, non-users, physicians, and nurses. Support Care Cancer 18:1147–1156PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Coreil J, Behal R (1999) Man to man prostate cancer support groups. Cancer Pract 7:122–129PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kiss A, Meryn S (2001) Effect of sex and gender on psychosocial aspects of prostate and breast cancer. BMJ 323:1055–1058PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Seale C, Ziebland S, Charteris-Black J (2006) Gender, cancer experience and internet use: a comparative keyword analysis of interviews and online cancer support groups. Soc Sci Med 62:2577–2590PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gray R et al (1996) Breast cancer and prostate cancer self-help groups: reflections on differences. Psychooncology 5:37–142Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Clarke JN (2004) A comparison of breast, testicular and prostate cancer in mass print media (1996-2001). Soc Sci Med 59:541–551PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hoyt MA (2009) Gender role conflict and emotional approach coping in men with cancer. Psychol Health 24:981–996PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Guba EG, Lincoln YS (1994) Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 105–117Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schwandt TA (2000) Three epistemological stances for qualitative inquiry. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 189–213Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sciarra D (1999) The role of the qualitative researcher. In: Kopala M, Suzuki LA (eds) Using qualitative methods in psychology. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 37–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ponterotto JG (2005) Qualitative research in counseling psychology: a primer on research paradigms and philosophy of science. J Couns Psychol 52:126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schwandt TA (1994) Constructivist, interpretivist approaches to human inquiry. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Morrow SL (2005) Quality and trustworthiness in qualitative research in counseling psychology. J Couns Psychol 52:250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ponterotto JG, Grieger I (2007) Effectively communicating qualitative research. Couns Psychol 35:404–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Birks M, Chapman Y, Francis K (2008) Memoing in qualitative research. J Res Nurs 13:68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Daly J et al (2007) A hierarchy of evidence for assessing qualitative health research. J Clin Epidemiol 60:43–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Owen JE et al (2007) Use of health-related and cancer-specific support groups among adult cancer survivors. Cancer 109:2580–2589PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Marshall MN (1996) Sampling for qualitative research. Fam Pract 13:522–526PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Morse JM (1999) Qualitative generalizability. Qual Health Res 9:5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sandelowski M (1995) Sample size in qualitative research. Res Nurs Health 18:179–183PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Collingridge DS, Gantt EE (2008) The quality of qualitative research. Am J Med Qual 23:389–395PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Spencer S, Carver CS, Price A (1998) Psychological and social factors in adaptation. Psychooncology:211–222Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Creswell JW (2007) Qualitative inquiry & research design: choosing among five approaches. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    King N (1998) Template analysis. In: Symon G, Cassell C (eds) Qualitative methods and analysis in organizational research. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Patton MQ (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Denzin NK (2001) Interpretive interactionism, vol 16. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Baumeister RF, Sommer KL (1997) What do men want? Gender differences and two spheres of belongingness: comment on Cross and Madson. Psychol Bull 122:38–44PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Jordan JV (1991) Women's growth in connection: writings from the Stone Center. Guilford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Levant RF (1996) The new psychology of men. Prof Psychol-Res Pract 27:259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Nutt RL, Brooks GR (2008) Psychology of gender. In: Brown SD, Lent RW (eds) Handbook of counseling psychology. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Scher M (2001) Male therapist, male client: reflections on critical dynamics. In: Brooks G, Good G (eds) The handbook of counseling and psychotherapy approaches for men. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Aziz NM (2007) Cancer survivorship research: state of knowledge, challenges and opportunities. Acta Oncol 46:417–432PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Deimling GT et al (2006) Coping among older adult, long term cancer survivors. Psychooncology 15:143–159PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Washington AE, Lipstein SH (2011) The patient-centered outcomes research institute—promoting better information, decisions, and health. New Engl J Med 365:e31PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen K. Trapp
    • 1
  • Jacqueline D. Woods
    • 1
  • Alicia Grove
    • 1
  • Marilyn Stern
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations