Post-Traumatic Growth in Women with Breast Cancer: Intensity and Predictors

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 May 27;19(11):6509. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19116509.


Experiencing a traumatic situation such as breast cancer can, beside negative consequences, have a positive impact, described as post-traumatic growth (PTG). A factor that facilitates psychological recovery when coping with stressful events is psychological resilience. The aim of the present study was to assess whether PTG occurs in a group of women with breast cancer and whether resilience is a personal trait contributing to its occurrence. The study group comprised 100 women with breast cancer, aged 31-80 years, almost half of whom were aged 61-70 years (n = 46, 46%). The Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory, the Impact of Event Scale, and the Resilience Assessment Questionnaire (KOP) were used for the study. All women manifested PTG, with a mean intensity of 76.61 ± 13.45 points. The greatest changes were observed in the subjects' appreciation of life, and the smallest in their relations with others, self-perception, and spiritual changes. The KOP scale measured a mean resilience of 103.80 ± 16.57. The results obtained confirm the co-occurrence of psychological resilience and PTG, especially personal resilience and social competences. Additionally, women subjected to additional traumatic events other than cancer manifested a higher level of PTG.

Keywords: PTG; breast cancer; post-traumatic growth; resilience; trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Breast Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Posttraumatic Growth, Psychological*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.