Understanding Denial

Pam Shockey Stephenson

ONF 2007, 31(5), 985-988. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.985-988
Purpose/Objectives: To explore the adaptive and maladaptive uses of denial while developing a clearer understanding of denial.

Jump to a section


    Burgess, D. (1994). Denial and terminal illness. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, 11(2), 46-48.
    Copp, G., & Field, D. (2002). Open awareness and dying: The use of denial and acceptance as coping strategies by hospice patients. NT Research, 7, 118-128.
    Gates, R.A., & Nishimoto, P.W. (1997). Communicating, caring, and coping. In R.A. Gates & R.M. Fink (Eds.), Oncology nursing secrets (pp. 428-436). Philadelphia: Hanley and Belfus.
    Ingebrigsten, P., & Smith, M.W. (1997). Family issues. In R.A. Gates & R.M. Fink (Eds.), Oncology nursing secrets (pp. 459-462). Philadelphia: Hanley and Belfus.
    Jones, A. (1999). ‘Listen, listen trust your own strange voice’ (psychoanalytically informed conversations with a woman suffering serious illness). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 29, 826-831.
    Kadlec-Fuller, J. (1997). Helpful hints. In R.A. Gates & R.M. Fink (Eds.), Oncology nursing secrets (pp. 453-458). Philadelphia: Hanley and Belfus.
    Kreitler, S. (1999). Denial in patients with cancer. Cancer Investigation, 1, 514-534.
    Kübler-Ross, E. (1969). On death and dying. New York: MacMillan.
    Kübler-Ross, E. (1981). Living with death and dying. New York: Touchstone.
    Kunkel, E.J., Woods, C.M., Rodgers, C., & Myers, R.E. (1997). Consultations for ‘maladaptive denial of illness' in patients with cancer: Psychiatric disorders that result in noncompliance. Psycho-Oncology, 6, 139-149.
    Morley, C. (1997). The use of denial by patients with cancer. Professional Nurse, 12, 380-381.
    Moules, N.J. (1998). Legitimizing grief: Challenging beliefs that constrain. Journal of Family Nursing, 4, 142-166.
    Moyer, A., & Levine, E.G. (1998). Clarification of the conceptualization and measurement of denial in psychosocial oncology research. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 20, 149-160.
    Murray, M., & Neilson, L. (1994). Denial: Coping or cop-out? Canadian Nurse, 90(2), 33-35.
    Murray, R.B., & Zentner, J.P. (1979). Nursing assessment and health promotion through the life span (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    Ross, D.M., Peteet, J.R., Medeiros, C., Walsh-Burke, K., & Rieker, P. (1992). Difference between nurses' and physicians' approach to denial in oncology. Cancer Nursing, 15, 422-428.
    Rousseau, P. (2000). The art of oncology: When the tumor is not the target. Death denial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 18, 3998-3999.
    Salander, P., & Windahl, G. (1999). Does ‘denial' really cover our everyday experiences in clinical oncology? A critical view from a psychoanalytic perspective on the use of ‘denial.' British Journal of Medical Psychology, 72(Pt. 2), 267-279.
    Smith, D.C. (1993). The terminally ill patient's right to be in denial. Omega, 27, 115-121.
    Weisman, A.D. (1972). On death and denying: A psychiatric study of terminality. New York: Behavioral Publications.
    Weisman, A.D. (1979). Coping with cancer. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill.