The objective of the study was to describe the quality of life (QOL) and coping style of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients after hospitalization and to explore the relationship between coping style and health-related QOL of NPC patients. A descriptive correlational design was used in this study. Ninety-eight NPC patients were investigated by a convenient sampling method. Three instruments were employed for data collection. Demographic Information Sheet was used to collect the subjects' demographic characteristics. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck (FACT-H & N) was used to measure health-related QOL. The Jalowiec Coping Scale (JCS) was used to measure coping styles. Descriptive analysis and Spearman correlation analyses were performed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 10.0. Data collection was done from September 2002 to December 2002. The standard score of FACT-H & N for subjects was 67.83%. Patients scored lowest on the Head and Neck subscale. With a mean score of 2.09 +/- 0.53, patient scored the "optimistic" highest on JCS. Some other coping styles scored were "self-reliant"(1.68 +/- 0.49), "palliative" (1.51 +/- 0.60), "emotive"(0.84 +/- 0.59), "fatalistic"(0.92 +/- 0.70), and "evasive"(1.27 +/- 0.44). There were positive correlations between "optimistic," "palliative," and QOL; the coefficient r were 0.456 and 0.324, respectively. There were negative correlations between "emotive," "fatalistic," "evasive," and QOL; the coefficient r were -0.465, -0.427, and -0.271, respectively. No significant correlations were found among "confrontative," "self-reliant," "supportive," and QOL, P > .05. The adverse effects of radiation remain the major problems that affect the health-related QOL of NPC patients posttherapy. Positive emotion-focused coping styles were positively correlated to QOL, and negative emotion-focused ones negatively correlated. Problem-focused coping styles were not statistically correlated to QOL among NPC patients posttherapy. The findings of this study suggest that nurses need to pay attention to the QOL of NPC patients posttherapy, including appropriate education to minimize ongoing adverse effects and support the use of effective coping styles.