Benefit finding, posttraumatic growth and health-related quality of life in long-term cancer survivors: a prospective population-based study

Zhunzhun Liu, Melissa S. Y. Thong, Daniela Doege, Lena Koch-Gallenkamp, Linda Weisser, Heike Bertram, Andrea Eberle, Bernd Holleczek, Alice Nennecke, Annika Waldmann, Sylke Ruth Zeissig, Ron Pritzkuleit, Hermann Brenner, Volker Arndt


Background: We explored the relationship between benefit finding (BF)/posttraumatic growth (PTG) at baseline and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at baseline and follow-up in long-term cancer survivors (LTCS; ≥5-year post-diagnosis). Materials and methods: HRQOL was assessed in LTCS in 2009–2011 (5- to 16-year post-diagnosis, baseline) and re-assessed in 2018/2019 (14- to 24-year post-diagnosis, follow-up). BF and PTG were measured at baseline; mean scores were dichotomized into ‘none-to-low’ (<3) and ‘moderate-to-high’ (> =3). Linear regression models and linear mixed regression models were employed to assess the association of BF/PTG with HRQOL. Results: Of the 6057 baseline participants, 4373 were alive in 2019, of whom 2704 completed the follow-up questionnaire. Cross-sectionally, LTCS with none-to-low BF reported better HRQOL at baseline and at follow-up than LTCS with higher BF. Longitudinally, no difference was found between none-to-low and moderate-to-high BF on the HRQOL change from baseline to follow-up. HRQOL differences between the PTG groups were not statistically significant cross-sectionally and longitudinally, except those participants with moderate-to-high PTG reported higher role functioning and global health status/QOL. Conclusions: Cross-sectionally, BF was significantly negatively related to subscales of HRQOL, while PTG was positively correlated to role functioning and global health status/QOL. The results add further evidence that BF and PTG are two different positive psychological concepts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1124-1131
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)

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