Psychological aspects of 103 families of cancer patients including stress perception and coping strategy were investigated. The results were as follows ; 1) 22.3% of the families tended to deny the illness and 57.3% of them showed rejecting or uncertain attitude with regards to the notification of diagnoses to patients. These suggest that they have conflicts in acceptance of the illness and in notice of diagnoses to the patients. 2) Onset of the illness caused negative emotions in a considerable number of family members. Other problems included financial burden, therapeutic process, attitude toward the illness, relationship with patients, and personal life as well as negative emotions. 3) The families showed significantly higher scores of stress perception with regards to illness and injury, and financial problems than the normal subjects ; in contrast, they showed lower scores with respect to work, job and school. 4) The families who had positive attitude toward the notification of diagnoses for patients and other family members showed lower scores of stress perception in part than those who did not. The former were also significantly less anxious and fearful than the latter. 5) As vulnerabilities, anxiety, fear and depression were most remarkable in the families. For those who showed frustration, annoyance and repudiation of other’ s assistance, their problems were not easily resolved. 6) As coping strategy, maintenance of hope, mutual support, compliance and intellectualism were most frequently used in the family members. Displacement, flexibility and change of environment had a positive effect on resolution of their problems. 7) Communication within family was shown to be helpful in most of the family members ; in contrast, their denial of the illness was negatively correlated with effectiveness of communication. 8) Awareness of the illness in the patients and their family members, the latters, willingness to notice diagnoses to the patients, and intrafamilial communication had a positive effect on resolution of the problems. The above results suggest that emotional support is necessary for those families of cancer patients and that to improve awareness of the illness for both the patients and their family members and to encourage frank communication within family could reduce stress for the family members and make them cope more effectively with the illness.
대상 및 방법