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A Longitudinal Investigation of Posttraumatic Growth in Adult Patients Undergoing Treatment for Acute Leukemia

  • Suzanne C. DanhauerEmail author
  • Gregory B. Russell
  • Richard G. Tedeschi
  • Michelle T. Jesse
  • Tanya Vishnevsky
  • Kristin Daley
  • Suzanne Carroll
  • Kelli N. Triplett
  • Lawrence G. Calhoun
  • Arnie Cann
  • Bayard L. Powell
Article

Abstract

An acute leukemia diagnosis can be an extremely stressful experience for most patients. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is positive psychological change experienced following a struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. The current study is the first longitudinal investigation of predictors of PTG and distress in adult acute leukemia patients undergoing induction chemotherapy. Findings suggest that these patients report PTG, and levels of PTG appear to increase over the weeks following leukemia diagnosis and induction chemotherapy. Variables associated with higher total PTG scores over time included greater number of days from baseline, younger age, and greater challenge to core beliefs. Variables associated with higher distress included greater number of days from baseline, greater perceived cancer threat, higher symptom severity, and lower spiritual well-being. Results underscore the critical role that examination of one’s core beliefs may play in the development of PTG over time.

Keywords

Leukemia Posttraumatic growth Adjustment Quality of life Hematologic malignancies 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and most of all, the patients and their families, who supported this work. Funding was provided by the Higginbotham Memorial Cancer Patient Support Fund.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne C. Danhauer
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Gregory B. Russell
    • 1
  • Richard G. Tedeschi
    • 2
  • Michelle T. Jesse
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tanya Vishnevsky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kristin Daley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suzanne Carroll
    • 1
  • Kelli N. Triplett
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lawrence G. Calhoun
    • 2
  • Arnie Cann
    • 2
  • Bayard L. Powell
    • 1
  1. 1.Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.UNC CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social Sciences & Health PolicyWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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