Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 933–941 | Cite as

Cancer-coping profile predicts long-term psychological functions and quality of life in cancer survivors

  • Chih-Tao Cheng
  • Samuel M. Y. Ho
  • Wing-Kei Liu
  • Yi-Chen Hou
  • Lay-Chin Lim
  • Shi-Ying Gao
  • Wen-Yi Chang
  • Ging-Long WangEmail author
Original Article



Cancer survivors experience significant psychosocial distress even after completion of cancer treatment. The association between cancer coping and cancer recovery is not well established. The present study investigated the cancer-coping profile and cancer outcomes in breast cancer survivors.


A three-wave longitudinal study was conducted. In 2009 (wave 1), 248 breast cancer survivors completed a package of psychological inventories to evaluate cancer copying style, psychological distress, anxiety and depression, and quality of life. They received follow-up survey in 2012 (wave 2) and 2016 (wave 3). A latent profile analysis (LPA) was conducted among participants in wave 1 to identify cancer-coping class. Identified cancer-coping class was used to predict psychological and survival outcomes in waves 2 and 3.


Two cancer-coping classes were identified through LPA, namely adaptive cancer coping (class I; 52%) and maladaptive cancer coping (class II; 47.8%). Demographic and clinical factors did not differ significantly between the two classes. Subsequent analyses demonstrated that the cancer-coping style in wave 1 predicted the psychological symptoms and quality of life outcomes at the two follow-ups (waves 2 and 3). Survivors in the adaptive group (class I) exhibited lower cancer distress, anxiety and depression scores, and higher quality of life scores than those in the maladaptive group did. Cancer coping were not found to be significantly associated with cancer survival or recurrence.


The identified cancer-coping styles were predictive of the survivors’ psychological symptoms, psychological well-being, and health-related quality of life but not cancer survival or recurrence.


Cancer Survivor Coping Trajectory Psychosocial 



We thank the participants for their involvement in the study.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryKoo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer CenterTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Social WorkNational Defense UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Psychology Laboratory, Department of Social and Behavioural SciencesCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong
  4. 4.Department of Medical ResearchKoo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer CenterTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of MedicineTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryNational Yang-Ming University School of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan

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