This study was a descriptive one whose purpose was to identify coping mechanisms used by elderly, ill, homebound clients. The sample included 30 home health clients in a small southern community. The average age of the subjects was 76 years. Data were collected using Coping Resources Inventory (Hammer & Mart i n g , 1988) and a demographic and health history form. Data were analyzed using the mean, standard deviation, and Pearson r_. Analysis of the data revealed that the elders utilized spiritual/philosophical , cognitive, social, and emotional coping skills equally and more often than physical coping skills. There were significant correlations between social coping skills and sex, marriage, and previous home health experience ; between cognitive coping skills and the need for assistance with activities of daily living; between physical coping skills and diagnoses of diabetes or bone and joint disorders ; and between total coping skills and p r e v i o u s ho m e h e a l t h experience. Recommendations for further study include investigation of the coping mechanisms of well and ill elders and the impact of nursing care on coping. Geriatric Nurse Clinicians should promote the use of a broad range of coping mechanisms to prevent crises.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Doris Saade

Second Advisor

Dr. Rayma Skinner

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Hill

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons