The role of social support in posttraumatic growth in people struggling with cancer
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Online publication date: 2014-02-04
Health Psychology Report 2013;1(1):1–8
The experience of cancer, in addition to a number of adverse effects that manifest themselves in different spheres of functioning, may also serve human development. This was confirmed by recent studies on posttraumatic growth. This phenomenon requires the presence of positive changes in self-perception, interpersonal relationships, and philosophy of life, which appear as a result of attempts to cope with the aftermath of traumatic events.
Studies indicate that the incidence of positive changes as a result of the experience of cancer is quite high and occurs in 30-90% of patients. They relate mainly to the relationships with other people and an appreciation of life and are characteristic especially for the early stages of diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Among the factors determining posttraumatic growth, a key role is attributed to social support. This paper presents the role of social support in the process of developing positive changes after the trauma associated with the experience of cancer, including the types and sources of support.
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