Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2011 Oct 11;105(8):1158-65.
doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.335. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Benefit Finding and Post-Traumatic Growth in Long-Term Colorectal Cancer Survivors: Prevalence, Determinants, and Associations With Quality of Life

Free PMC article

Benefit Finding and Post-Traumatic Growth in Long-Term Colorectal Cancer Survivors: Prevalence, Determinants, and Associations With Quality of Life

L Jansen et al. Br J Cancer. .
Free PMC article


Background: As research on quality of life of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors has mainly focused on downsides of cancer survivorship, the aim of this study is to investigate benefit finding (BF) and post-traumatic growth (PTG) in long-term CRC survivors.

Methods: Benefit finding, PTG, and quality of life were assessed 5 years after diagnosis in a population-based cohort of 483 CRC patients using the benefit finding scale, the post-traumatic growth inventory, and the EORTC QLQ-C30. Prevalence of BF and PTG, determinants of moderate-to-high BF and PTG, and the association between BF, PTG, and quality of life were investigated.

Results: Moderate to high levels of BF and PTG were experienced by 64% and 46% of the survivors, respectively. Survivors with the highest level of education and with higher depression scores reported less BF and PTG. The PTG increased with increasing stage and self-reported burden of diagnosis. Quality of life only correlated weakly with PTG (Pearson's r=0.1180, P=0.0112) and not with BF (r=0.0537, P=0.2456).

Conclusion: Many long-term CRC survivors experience BF and PTG. As these constructs were not strongly correlated with quality of life, focusing solely on quality of life after cancer misses an important aspect of survivorship.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 22 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Aaronson NK, Ahmedzai S, Bergman B, Bullinger M, Cull A, Duez NJ, Filiberti A, Flechtner H, Fleishman SB, Haes JCJM, Kaasa S, Klee M, Osoba D, Razavi D, Rofe PB, Schraub S, Sneeuw K, Sullivan M, Takeda F. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30: a quality-of-life instrument for use in international clinical trials in oncology. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993;85 (5:365–376. - PubMed
    1. Antoni MH, Lehman JM, Kilbourn KM, Boyers AE, Culver JL, Alferi SM, Yount SE, McGregor BA, Arena PL, Harris SD, Price AA, Carver CS. Cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention decreases the prevalence of depression and enhances benefit finding among women under treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychol. 2001;20 (1:20–32. - PubMed
    1. Barskova T, Oesterreich R. Post-traumatic growth in people living with a serious medical condition and its relations to physical and mental health: a systematic review. Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31 (21:1709–1733. - PubMed
    1. Bower JE, Meyerowitz BE, Desmond KA, Bernaards CA, Rowland JH, Ganz PA. Perceptions of positive meaning and vulnerability following breast cancer: predictors and outcomes among long-term breast cancer survivors. Ann Behav Med. 2005;29 (3:236–245. - PubMed
    1. Brenner H, Chang-Claude J, Seiler CM, Rickert A, Hoffmeister M. Protection from colorectal cancer after colonoscopy: a population-based, case-control study. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154 (1:22–30. - PubMed

Publication types