Cancer Survivors' Use of Online Support Groups: The Health eCommunities Study

Purpose of study: to assess why people join online cancer support groups and the types of messages they send to request or offer support (Rimer and others, 2005; Meier and others, 2007).

Sample: a Web-based survey of 293 new subscribers to online cancer mailing lists.

Study Description: Researchers analyzed themes from a sample of 2,755 online messages.

Theory Constructs Used:

  • Coping efforts (information seeking and social support)
  • Meaning-based coping

Results: The most common reasons for joining an online community were to obtain information on how to deal with cancer, for support, and to help others. Theme analysis revealed that emotional support was provided in the form of emotional coping strategies, empathy, encouragement, prayers and esteem support. Also, rather than requesting support, survivors were more likely to offer support.

An expanded Transactional Stress and Coping Model for siblings of children with sickle cell disease

Purpose of study: To examine the application of an expanded Transactional Stress and Coping Model for the psychological adjustment of non-chronically ill siblings of children with sickle cell disease (Gold and others, 2008).

Sample: 97 African-American siblings from 65 families


  • Medical record review
  • Family coping
  • Family functioning
  • Sibling coping
  • Self-efficacy
  • Sibling perceived social support
  • Sibling psychological adjustment

Results: Family adaptational processes, including family coping, expressiveness, support and low conflict predicted positive adjustment, while family conflict predicted poor adjustment.

Coping Styles, Well-Being, and Self-Care Behaviors Among African Americans With Type 2 Diabetes

Purpose of study: To describe how coping styles relate to diabetes appraisals, self-care behaviors, and health related quality of life or well-being. (Samuel-Hodge, et al., 2008).

Sample: 185 African Americans with type 2 diabetes from 24 churches


  • Coping styles
  • Perceived stress
  • Diabetes and general health
  • Perceived diabetes confidence and self-efficacy
  • Diabetes problem areas
  • Diabetes self-efficacy
  • Physiology
  • Dietary behavior

Results: Participants 59 years of age with 9 years of diagnosed diabetes, generally used passive and emotive styles of coping; however, older and less educated participants generally used passive forms of coping. Greater perceived stress, problem areas in diabetes, and negative appraisals of diabetes control were significantly associated with emotive styles of coping. Both passive and active styles of coping related to better diabetes self-efficacy and competence