Cancer's aftermath: posttraumatic growth as an intermediate step to perceived benefits.

  Vol. 44 (6) 2023 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2023; 44(6): 391-398 PubMed PMID:  37776556    Citation

BACKGROUND: The need to develop understanding of the posttraumatic growth (PTG) in the population of cancer survivors has increased in recent years. The daily functioning of cancer survivors involves factors that affect the development of PTG and the process by which it arises. OBJECTIVES: The main objective was to explore PTG process and its influencing factors in cancer survivors. METHODS: Using qualitative research design, the study applied in-depth interviews and the method of life-line drawing with seven female cancer survivors, aged between 49 and 73. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. RESULTS: The main category in the process is persistence in consequences associated with two categories of triggers, external and internal. The various outcomes (PTG, acceptance, uncertainty) depend on perceived possibility of taking control over consequences in cancer survivors. PTG is a result of individual accommodation of illness consequences in which taking control and accommodation lead to self-regulation of pain, self-confidence, and positive self-image. CONCLUSION: Possibility of taking control over the disease consequences and active approach to acquiring new skills are central explanatory variables modifying the process of persistence in consequences of illness and the reasons of PTG. The PTG model has the potential to be adapted to other cancer-related outcomes that are relevant to the daily lives of cancer survivors.

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