eCite Digital Repository

Posttraumatic growth after cancer: the importance of health-related benefits and newfound compassion for others


Morris, BA and Shakespeare-Finch, J and Scott, JL, Posttraumatic growth after cancer: the importance of health-related benefits and newfound compassion for others, Supportive Care in Cancer, 20, (4) pp. 749-756. ISSN 1433-7339 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Springer-Verlag

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00520-011-1143-7


Purpose:: There is growing evidence in psycho-oncology that people can experience posttraumatic growth (PTG), or positive life change, in addition to the distress that may occur after a cancer diagnosis. Many studies utilise existing PTG measures that were designed for general trauma experiences, such as the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. However, such inventories may not take into account life changes associated with a crisis specifically in a health-related context.

Method: The current study presents a mixed method exploration of the post-diagnosis experience of cancer survivors (N = 209) approximately 3 years after diagnosis.

Results: Quantitative and qualitative assessment of PTG showed that appreciating life was the most salient area of positive life change for cancer survivors. The results also revealed that in addition to several PTG domains captured by existing quantitative PTG measures, further positive life changes were reported, including compassion for others and health-related life changes.

Conclusions: These domains of PTG highlight the unique context of a cancer diagnosis and the potential underestimation of positive life change by existing inventories. Further research is warranted that is directed towards designing a context-specific PTG measure for cancer survivors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:posttraumatic growth, cancer, oncology, qualitative, mixed method
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Morris, BA (Ms Bronwyn Morris)
UTAS Author:Scott, JL (Professor Jenn Scott)
ID Code:76429
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:60
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2012-03-06
Last Modified:2014-12-18
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page