NCPD Article
Supportive Care

Stress and Coping: A Literature Review of Everyday Stressors and Strategies to Cope in Pediatric Patients With Cancer

Sarah Furtado

Taylor Stallworth

Young-Me Lee

Joseph D. Tariman
stressors, coping, children with cancer, pediatrics, oncology
CJON 2021, 25(4), 367-371. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.367-371

Although cancer survival rates are improving, pediatric patients with cancer still face numerous stressors. Using an integrative approach, a literature review was conducted to identify stressors and synthesize effective coping strategies among pediatric patients with cancer. The CINAHL® Complete, ProQuest, and PubMed® databases were searched for relevant studies using key terms. Eight studies were included in the final analysis. Three factors contributing to everyday stressors of pediatric patients with cancer and four major coping categories were identified.


  • Everyday stressors among pediatric patients with cancer include cancer treatments and secondary side effects, emotional distress, and disruptions in daily routine and social life.
  • Coping categories include approach and avoidance coping mechanisms, as well as problem-and emotion-focused coping strategies.
  • The strength of the evidence from the studies included in this review is weak because of small sample sizes, homogenous samples predominantly consisting of White participants, and the lack of randomized controlled trial designs.
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