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Meaning in adjustment to cancer: a model of care


Lethborg, C and Aranda, S and Kissane, D, Meaning in adjustment to cancer: a model of care, Palliative & Supportive Care, 6, (1) pp. 61-70. ISSN 1478-9515 (2008) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2008 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S1478951508000096


Objectives: In the clinical setting of cancer, meaning may well have a central role in the life changes the illness experience brings about. As health care professionals working with people with life-threatening illness, we are exposed to one of the major turning points in life and the ways people confront this transition. Meaning can assist coping by offering a framework, perspective, and counterbalance to the challenge of illness. However, the absence of meaning can be a precursor to profound despair.

Methods: This article brings together the clinical implications of two studies conducted by the authors that explored the role of meaning in adjustment to cancer, presenting a theoretical understanding of the experience of meaning in cancer and identifying some potential approaches to intervention.

Results: Our findings point to some specific goals of care as well as a number of therapeutic modalities aimed to meet these goals. We examine four goals of care--acknowledging suffering, encouraging a search for meaning, strengthening connection with others, and ensuring optimal physical care--as foundational in any clinical approach and then examine the key models of therapy that assist the clinician in pursuing these goals.

Significance of results: Our aim is to create an integrated approach to care provision that locates meaning centrally in any patient's adaptation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:meaning based coping, adjustment to cancer, suffering, psychosocial intervention, strengthening connection with others
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health counselling
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Lethborg, C (Dr Carolyn Lethborg)
ID Code:153811
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2022-10-07
Last Modified:2022-11-01

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