, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 2023-2029
Date: 25 Mar 2014

Positive changes following cancer: posttraumatic growth in the context of other factors in patients with cancer

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Abstract

Purpose

The incidence of posttraumatic growth (PTG) has mostly been researched after typical traumatic events such as war, violence, bereavement, vehicle accidents, and so forth. This research has shown that PTG also occurs after cancer. This article presents the results of research which focused on PTG and what was related to its incidence, such as the specific reaction to trauma, among patients with hematological cancer (N = 72). The differences in the levels of PTG were analyzed from the perspective of demographic characteristics, characteristics of the disease, and treatment.

Methods

PTG was measured using the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory-Czech version (PTGI-CZ). The associated variables were measured using instruments in measuring benefit findings [Benefit Finding Scale for Children-Czech version (BFSC-CZ)], distress tolerance [Distress Tolerance Scale (DTS)], hope [Adult Hope Trait Scale (AHTS)], and optimism [Revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R)].

Results

Regression analysis found that a higher perception of benefits of the disease (benefit findings) and a greater effort to regulate feelings of distress (distress regulation) explained 67.1 % of the variance of PTG.

Conclusions

There were no significant differences in the level of PTG in terms of demographic indicators, type of cancer, current state of disease, or type of treatment. It was found that it was important for patients to perceive that their disease had been beneficial in a certain way. It was also important that patients made a great effort to regulate distress, which can occur when coping with the negative consequences of a disease, and at the same time, it is important for the process of PTG.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-014-2313-1.