Family relationships and post-traumatic growth in breast cancer patients.Psychiatr Danub. 2012 Sep; 24(3):298-306.PD
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) refers to the process of attributing meaning to traumatic events and positive changes in life after facing trauma. A number of studies have already demonstrated that demographic- and coping-approaches related variables predict PTG, yet little is known about whether PTG may be predicted by family processes such as flexibility, cohesion, communication and satisfaction. The main purpose of the study therefore was to determine whether family-related factors predict PTG above and beyond demographic variables and coping related processes.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
The study included 190 women, breast-cancer patients, aged 31 to 83 years. Their educational level was representative of the educational level in the population of this age range. The Participants were members of the Oncology Patients Society. Post traumatic growth index, FACES-IV - family relationships scale, coping response inventory, demographic, and illness-related questionnaires were administered after informed consent was obtained. The PTG index was used as an outcome measure.
Congruent with previous findings, analyses yielded weak correlations between demographic- and illness-related variables, and PTG. Also congruent with previous findings, approach related coping strategies were found to predict PTG, R squared =0.16, p<0.001. In addition to previous findings, family related factors predicted unique proportion of variance on PTG, p<0.05, with communication having positive and satisfaction negative load on PTG.
Results showed that family related factors predicted PTG above and beyond coping-related strategies and demographics. Communication, however, seems to mediate the association between satisfaction and PTG. Theoretical concerns and practical implications are discussed.