Construction of new personal meanings by cancer patients: a qualitative analysis in an Italian patient population View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2019-05

AUTHORS

Loredana Buonaccorso, Gianfranco Martucci, Guido Miccinesi, Alice Maruelli, Carla Ripamonti

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The goal of this study is to investigate the meaning that cancer patients in active therapy and/or rehabilitation give to their illness and resources they rely on to build new experiences of meaning and a future perspective. METHODS: The present study consisted in a summative content analysis of answers to open questions of the Purpose In Life (PIL) Questionnaire administered to 158 consecutive patients with non-advanced cancer (no metastases). The PIL is an attitude scale that indicates the degree of attainment of meaning and purpose in life and is divided into three sections: a first 20-item quantitative section, with statements rated on a 7-point verbal scale with two anchoring phrases (part A); a qualitative section with 13 open-end items and paragraph composition section addressing the future goals (part B) and past meaningful experience (part C). For the present study, we analyzed the answers to open questions, most interesting in a therapeutic contest related to the meanings associated with life, illness, and suffering to understand the experienced of the cancer patients. RESULTS: The main recurring themes in PIL section B analyzed associated to the sense of life, disease, and death are as follows: meaning (positive/negative), personal dimension, religiousness; physical health, family, normal life; negative sense of death, the end, natural transition, religious belief, consolation, mystery, rejection; opportunity, negativity. Whereas main themes emerging from section C were associated to life goals of the interviewed patients: the desire of realization in the future perspective; the value of life; physical health and healing; guiding values; plus three more themes, distinguishable, but with a minor recurrence: legacy responsibility, religiousness, lack of purpose/resignation. CONCLUSION: The use of summative content analysis evidenced the recurrence of a strong sense of positivity, present in the majority of the interviews. In particular, this positivity is shown by the use of words associated frequently to self-consciousness and self-evaluation, desire of happiness, and desire of contributing to the good of significant others and of taking care of your own life in order to give a positive contribution. More... »

PAGES

1-8

References to SciGraph publications

  • 2012-11. Italian validation of the Purpose In Life (PIL) test and the Seeking Of Noetic Goals (SONG) test in a population of cancer patients in SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER
  • 2011-02. Screening for psychological distress in patients with lung cancer: results of a clinical audit evaluating the use of the patient Distress Thermometer in SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER
  • 2010-03. Cancer-related communication, relationship intimacy, and psychological distress among couples coping with localized prostate cancer in JOURNAL OF CANCER SURVIVORSHIP
  • 2002-05. Spirituality and meaning in supportive care: spirituality- and meaning-centered group psychotherapy interventions in advanced cancer in SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER
  • 2017-11. Moderators of the effects of meaning-centered group psychotherapy in cancer survivors on personal meaning, psychological well-being, and distress in SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER
  • 2013-12. Characterizing the psychological distress response before and after a cancer diagnosis in JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
  • 2014-03. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) as a screening tool for depression and anxiety in non-advanced patients with solid or haematological malignancies on cure or follow-up in SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER
  • 2009-10. The Role of Spirituality in the Relationship Between Religiosity and Depression in Prostate Cancer Patients in ANNALS OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
  • 2008-07. The existential plight of cancer: meaning making as a concrete approach to the intangible search for meaning in SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER
  • 2010-04. Psychological distress and physical health in the year after diagnosis of DCIS or invasive breast cancer in BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT
  • Identifiers

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    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s00520-018-4444-2

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-018-4444-2

    DIMENSIONS

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    PUBMED

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30206727


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    35 schema:description PURPOSE: The goal of this study is to investigate the meaning that cancer patients in active therapy and/or rehabilitation give to their illness and resources they rely on to build new experiences of meaning and a future perspective. METHODS: The present study consisted in a summative content analysis of answers to open questions of the Purpose In Life (PIL) Questionnaire administered to 158 consecutive patients with non-advanced cancer (no metastases). The PIL is an attitude scale that indicates the degree of attainment of meaning and purpose in life and is divided into three sections: a first 20-item quantitative section, with statements rated on a 7-point verbal scale with two anchoring phrases (part A); a qualitative section with 13 open-end items and paragraph composition section addressing the future goals (part B) and past meaningful experience (part C). For the present study, we analyzed the answers to open questions, most interesting in a therapeutic contest related to the meanings associated with life, illness, and suffering to understand the experienced of the cancer patients. RESULTS: The main recurring themes in PIL section B analyzed associated to the sense of life, disease, and death are as follows: meaning (positive/negative), personal dimension, religiousness; physical health, family, normal life; negative sense of death, the end, natural transition, religious belief, consolation, mystery, rejection; opportunity, negativity. Whereas main themes emerging from section C were associated to life goals of the interviewed patients: the desire of realization in the future perspective; the value of life; physical health and healing; guiding values; plus three more themes, distinguishable, but with a minor recurrence: legacy responsibility, religiousness, lack of purpose/resignation. CONCLUSION: The use of summative content analysis evidenced the recurrence of a strong sense of positivity, present in the majority of the interviews. In particular, this positivity is shown by the use of words associated frequently to self-consciousness and self-evaluation, desire of happiness, and desire of contributing to the good of significant others and of taking care of your own life in order to give a positive contribution.
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