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Understanding benefit finding among patients with colorectal cancer: a longitudinal study
Support Care Cancer. 2021 May;29(5) :2355-2362
PMID: 32918129    PMCID: PMC7947025    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32918129
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PURPOSE: Perceiving positive life changes ("benefit finding") is thought to promote better adjustment after cancer, yet is poorly understood among colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. We characterized benefit finding and examined its relationship to demographic/medical factors, change over time, and association with distress. METHODS: CRC outpatients (N = 133, 50% metastatic) completed self-report measures (demographic/medical factors, benefit finding, distress) at baseline and 6 months later. Wilcoxon rank-sum (Kruskal-Wallis) tests or Spearman correlations tested associations between benefit finding and demographic/medical factors. Linear regressions assessed (1) change in benefit finding over time and whether this differed by demographic/medical factors, and (2) association between benefit finding and distress and whether this changed over time. RESULTS: Benefit finding was common among patients with CRC, with highest rated items reflecting gratitude, acceptance, and stronger family relationships. Women and racial minorities reported greater benefit finding than men (p < 0.001) and White patients (p = 0.015), respectively. Medical factors (e.g., metastatic disease) were not associated with benefit finding. Benefit finding significantly increased over time (p = 0.03). While greater benefit finding trended towards an association with lower distress, results were not statistically significant and the relationship did not change over time. CONCLUSION: Benefit finding was characterized largely by perceived psychological and social benefits, as opposed to pragmatic benefits. Individual differences and social determinants may be more informative than medical characteristics when it comes to benefit finding; although, cultural factors and mediators should be examined further. Benefit finding seems to evolve over time perhaps as a coping process; however, its association with psychological distress appears tenuous.
Zimmaro, Lauren A Deng, Mengying Handorf, Elizabeth Fang, Carolyn Y Denlinger, Crystal S Reese, Jennifer B eng PF-09-154-01-CPPB/American Cancer Society P30CA006927/CA/NCI NIH HHS/ 2T32-CA-009035/CA/NCI NIH HHS/ Germany Support Care Cancer. 2020 Sep 11. pii: 10.1007/s00520-020-05758-6. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05758-6.