Posttraumatic growth and adjustment among individuals with cancer and HIV/AIDS: A meta-analysis

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Sawyer, A. ; Ayers, S. ; Field, A. P. (2010)

There is increasing research on posttraumatic growth after life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, although it is unclear whether growth confers any psychological or physical benefits in such samples. Consequently, this meta-analysis explored the relationship between posttraumatic growth and psychological and physical wellbeing in adults diagnosed with cancer or HIV/AIDS and examined potential moderators of these relationships. Analysis of 38 studies (N = 7927) of posttraumatic growth after cancer or HIV/AIDS revealed that growth was related to increased positive mental health, reduced negative mental health and better subjective physical health. Moderators of these relationships included time since the event, age, ethnicity, and type of negative mental health outcome. It is hoped that this synthesis will encourage further examination of the potentially complex relationship between posttraumatic growth and adjustment in individuals living with life-threatening medical conditions.
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