Existence of benefit finding and posttraumatic growth in people treated for head and neck cancer: a systematic review

Sam has recently had a systematic review published in the open access journal PeerJ.  It is FREE for anyone to download.  Below is the abstract giving you an overview of the work, and it you have any questions then maybe the full article will be of interest.

Background. The impact of head and neck cancer (HNC) in long-term survivors differs widely among individuals, and a significant number of them suffer from the negative effects of disease, whereas others report significant positive effect. This systematic review investigated the evidence the implications of treatment for HNC and subsequent development of Benefit Finding (BF) or Posttraumatic Growth (PTG).
Purpose. To understand how differing medical, psychological and social characteristics of HNC may lead to BF/PTG and subsequently inform post-treatment interventions to encourage positive outcomes.
Method. In February 2012, five databases including Pubmed, and Psych Info, were searched, for peer-reviewed English-language publications. Search strings included key words pertaining to HNC, BF, and PTG. One thousand three hundred and sixty three publications were identified, reviewed, and reduced following Cochrane guidelines and inclusion/exclusion criteria specified by a group of maxillofacial consul-
tants and psychologists. Publications were then quality assessed using the CASP Cohort Critical Appraisal tool.
Findings. Five manuscripts met the search and selection criteria, and were sourced for review. All studies were identified as being level IIb evidence which is a medium level of quality. The majority of studies investigated benefit finding (80%) and were split between recruiting participant via cancer clinics and postal survey. They focused on the medical, psychological and social characteristics of the patient following completion of treatment for HNC.
Conclusion. Demographic factors across the papers showed similar patterns of relationships across BF and PTG; that higher education/qualification and cohabitation/marriage are associated with increased BF/PTG. Similarly, overlap with disease characteristics and psychosocial factors where hope and optimism were both positively correlated with increased reported BF/PTG.

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