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What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger? Experience of posttraumatic growth of partners of cancer patients who participated in an online intervention for partners of cancer patients based on self-compassion and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Pelters, Frauke (2016) What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger? Experience of posttraumatic growth of partners of cancer patients who participated in an online intervention for partners of cancer patients based on self-compassion and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

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Abstract:Background. The number of new cases of cancer steadily increases. Being diagnosed with cancer has a great impact on the patient and the partner and can lead to psychological problems. However, it may also evoke posttraumatic growth (PTG). There are supportive interventions for partners of cancer patients: Köhle et al. developed Hold on, for each other which is based on self-compassion and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Literature shows that self-compassion and psychological flexibility (as a consequence from ACT) may also promote growth. This study aims to find out if PTG occurs in the answers of the participants of Hold on, for each other. Methods: Data in the form of .pdf-documents with all answered exercises of 15 participants was analysed. These 15 participants were again divided into three groups, based on their development on the HADS from the first to the second measurement point. In an iterative process, a coding scheme was developed in both deductive and inductive way. The subquestions were answered exploratory and there was made use of descriptive statistics. Tables with occurrence and distributions of the codes were compiled. All data was analysed by one researcher. Results: The domains appreciation of life, personal strength, and relating to others occur most often. This result is also reflected in the types of exercises in which most PTG occurs. Lastly, participants who improved on the HADS after the intervention also expressed most PTG during the intervention. Conclusions: Other studies also found that partners of cancer patients mainly show the aforementioned domains of PTG. Next to it, it turned out that certain exercises yield more PTG-related content and therefore seem to be more helpful in promoting PTG than other exercises do. When offering the intervention with the aim to promote PTG it should be considered to only choose the PTG-related exercises in order to save time and resources of the participant and to eventually enable quicker positive results regarding PTG. One strength of this study is the novel coding scheme with which all data could be coded. On the one hand, this is striking because the intervention was not focused on PTG at all. On the other hand, in the end, it is not because the study also showed that the three constructs – ACT, self-compassion and PTG – clearly overlap each other.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70751
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