In the modern healthcare context, understanding the psychosocial dynamics of chronic illnesses like cancer is just as crucial as managing the physical symptoms. A recent study published in BMJ Open has cast light on the profound impact that coping strategies and mood have on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Chinese patients with advanced lung cancer.

Published under the title “Coping, mood and health-related quality of life: a cross-sectional study in Chinese patients with advanced lung cancer,” the research provides valuable insights into the intertwined relationship between psychological dispositions and the physical well-being of patients battling the final stages of lung cancer.

The Study and Its Findings

The study, bearing the DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023672, encompassed a sample of 261 patients with a mean age of 59.99±9.53 years, all diagnosed with stage III or IV lung cancer. It was undertaken in a distinguished hospital in Shanghai, China, that specializes in chest-related diseases. The aim was to scrutinize the mediating role of mood in the relationship between various coping strategies and HRQoL.

The study utilized standardized measurement tools including the Medical Coping Modes Questionnaire, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and the 5-level EuroQol 5-dimension instrument. The findings were intriguing, revealing dual effects of coping via mood. For instance, a coping strategy of confrontation had both a positive effect on HRQoL through positive mood and a negative one through negative mood. On the contrary, resigned acceptance as a coping mechanism was found to negatively affect HRQoL.

The implications of these findings are substantial. They suggest that interventions aimed at facilitating adaptive coping and enhancing positive mood could play a pivotal role in maintaining or improving HRQoL in patients with advanced lung cancer.

Potential Applications and Recommendations

In the realm of oncology, this study is a clarion call for a multifaceted approach toward patient care that goes beyond mere symptom management to include psychological support. Author Yaping He and colleagues have, through their meticulous research, underscored the necessity for healthcare professionals to consider psychological well-being as an essential component of patient care.

On a practical level, this could translate into the integration of mental health professionals into oncology teams, the establishment of support groups, and the implementation of mood-lifting programs within hospitals treating cancer patients.

Impact on the Healthcare Industry

Given China’s sizable population and the increasing prevalence of lung cancer cases, the research by He et al. has significant ramifications for public health policies. It establishes an unequivocal link between psychological well-being and quality of life in cancer patients, providing a blueprint for future initiatives and interventions.

Literature Context

The study by He et al. stands on the shoulders of several noteworthy precedents in the literature. For instance, the research supported by the likes of Maione et al. (2005) and Gupta et al. (2012) has consistently emphasized the predictive power of HRQoL for survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients. The study aligns with Feifel et al. (1987) showing that coping strategies are relevant to medically ill patients and Nipp et al. (2016, 2017) who have explored the relationship between coping, quality of life, and mood in advanced cancer patients.

Critical Analysis

This study’s contributions are indisputable, but it is not without limitations—chiefly its cross-sectional design, which cannot establish causality. Future longitudinal studies are necessitated to fortify these findings and to observe the evolution of coping strategies and mood over time in relation to patient outcomes.


The article “Coping, mood and health-related quality of life: a cross-sectional study in Chinese patients with advanced lung cancer” contributes a pivotal piece to the puzzle of cancer care, providing a window into the souls of those fighting the twilight of their lives against lung cancer. Such scholarly work elevates the importance of mental health in the journey towards better health outcomes and quality of life. It’s a testament that the battle against cancer is not only fought in operating rooms and chemotherapy infusion centers but also within the minds and hearts of the patients.


Chen W, et al. (2016). Cancer statistics in China, 2015. CA Cancer J Clin, 66, 115-32. DOI: 10.3322/caac.21338

He Y, et al. (2019). Coping, mood and health-related quality of life: a cross-sectional study in Chinese patients with advanced lung cancer. BMJ Open, e023672. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023672

Maione P, et al. (2005). Pretreatment quality of life and functional status assessment significantly predict survival of elderly patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy: a prognostic analysis of the multicenter Italian lung cancer in the elderly study. J Clin Oncol, 23, 6865–72. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2005.02.527

Gupta D, et al. (2012). Association between changes in quality of life scores and survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients. Eur J Cancer Care, 21, 614-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2012.01332.x

Feifel H, et al. (1987). Coping strategies and associated features of medically ill patients. Psychosom Med, 49, 616–25. DOI: 10.1097/00006842-198711000-00007


1. Advanced Lung Cancer Patients
2. Coping Strategies in Cancer
3. Quality of Life Oncology
4. Lung Cancer Care China
5. Psychological Impact on Cancer Patients

Discover how coping strategies and mood significantly impact the quality of life of patients with advanced lung cancer, based on a new study conducted in China. Explore the implications for healthcare providers and the importance of psychological support in oncology care.