Background: People who have undergone traumatic life experiences such as cancer often report a new meaning and greater appreciation of life. These subjectively experienced positive changes are referred to as posttraumatic growth (PTG). The present study investigated correlates of PTG in cancer patients. Patients and Methods: 128 cancer patients at a rehabilitation clinic in Germany completed self-report questionnaires. Results: Cognitive reappraisal of emotion, gratitude finding, and openness to experience correlated with PTG. Patients also reported different priorities in life after cancer, reflecting more present-oriented and intrinsic concerns. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that reappraising emotions and adjusting life priorities may help cancer patients to experience PTG by facilitating emotion-focused coping and reframing an apparently adverse situation as a positive experience.
- Emotion regulation
- Posttraumatic growth