Post-Traumatic Growth among Family Caregivers of Cancer Patients and Its Association with Social Support and Hope

Document Type: Original Article


1 Student research committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Cancer not only is a traumatic experience for the patients, but also can affect the family
caregivers. Post-traumatic growth (PTG) refers to positive psychological changes experienced by
people as a result of a struggle in dealing with traumatic events in life. Both the patients and their
caregivers may experience PTG. The present study aimed to assess the extent of PTG in caregivers of
patients with gastrointestinal cancer and to examine the relationship between the PTG dimensions and
both the social support (SS) and hope.
Methods: The present descriptive correlational study was conducted during May-August 2018 in
Shiraz, Iran. The target population included 112 caregivers who visited hospitals affiliated to Shiraz
University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Data collection instruments included a demographic
information form, post-traumatic growth inventory, social support appraisals scale, and Miller
hope scale. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software (version 23.0). Pstatistically significant.
Results: The mean score for PTG, hope, and SS was 75.41±16.49, 190.95±24.20, and 89.10±12.84,
respectively. A significant positive correlation was found between PTG and both SS (P<0.001, r=0.59)
and hope (P<0.001, r=0.70). The results of the multiple regression analysis showed a significant
relationship between PTG, SS, and hope (P<0.001). Hope had a higher effect on PTG (ẞ=0.62)
compared to SS (ẞ=0.27).
Conclusion: The results showed a good level of PTG among the caregivers and the experience of
stressful situations positively affected their psychological condition. The positive change was associated
with the perceived SS and hope.



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