DEFENSIVE AND ADAPTIVE MECHANISMS AMONG CANCER PATIENTS

By Margot Phaneuf, R.N., Ph.D.

2007

People to whom we provide care are experiencing a difficult phase or a genuine crisis in their lives. They suffer physically or emotionally. They are anxious, fearful and sometimes even desperate or suicidal. We can interact with them at the primary level to respond to their daily needs. However, to provide help, we need basic knowledge about their adaptation potential, about the defense mechanisms that they are likely to erect to face their disease, its repercussions and the anxiety that it generates.

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Defensive and adaptative mechanisms