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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29674

Title: Posttraumatic Growth in Survivors of Breast Cancer: The Role of Dispositional Optimism, Coping Strategies, and Psychosocial Interventions
Authors: Buxton, Amberley
Advisor: Stermac, Lana
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: posttraumatic growth
breast cancer
psychosocial intervention
coping strategies
Issue Date: 29-Aug-2011
Abstract: This study investigated the experience of posttraumatic growth for breast cancer survivors who volunteered to complete a survey (N = 277). A number of participants also provided narrative responses containing their personal experiences of breast cancer (N = 100). Demographic characteristics, breast cancer variables, optimism, coping strategies, and participation in psychosocial interventions were examined in relation to posttraumatic growth as measured by the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Differences between those who participated in psychosocial interventions versus those who did not were examined. The relation of coping strategies utilized and optimism level to interventions accessed was also of interest. Predictors of posttraumatic growth were examined via generalized linear modeling. Finally, the narrative responses were investigated by means of content analysis. The results provided evidence that demographic characteristics (i.e., affiliation with religion and lower levels of education) and one breast cancer variable (i.e., increased number of years since diagnosis) were related to experiences of posttraumatic growth for breast cancer survivors. Use of active forms of coping, optimism level, and participation in recreational interventions were also related to posttraumatic growth. Those who participated in psychosocial interventions were more likely to be employed and have higher levels of education than those who did not access interventions. Use of several active coping strategies and one passive coping strategy increased the likelihood of accessing a number of different psychosocial interventions. Posttraumatic growth was predicated by affiliation with religion, lower levels of education, increased number of years since diagnosis, knowledge of breast cancer stage, higher levels of optimism, and use of one passive and two active coping strategies. Many of these findings support previous research, however some conflict with prior results. The narrative responses contained information regarding diagnosis and treatment, impact of breast cancer, coping with breast cancer, and support accessed. Although the negative impact of breast cancer was discussed in terms of short and long-term, positive long-term changes were also reported. A variety of coping strategies and supports were utilized by the participants as well.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29674
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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