Turning the tide: Benefit finding after cancer surgery

Ute Schulz, Nihal E. Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Post-traumatic growth and benefit finding after adverse life events are emerging topics in stress and coping research. This study examined personal and social resources of cancer patients and their perception of positive life changes as a consequence of illness. In addition, the mediating role of coping strategies (acceptance and social comparison) was investigated. One month after tumor surgery, 105 cancer patients completed measures of social support and self-efficacy. Coping was assessed half a year after surgery, while benefit finding was examined 12 months post-surgery. Correlational and path analyses showed a link between personal resources (self-efficacy) as well as social resources (received social support) and benefit finding. The effect of self-efficacy disappeared when coping was specified as a mediator between the resources and benefit finding. Social support retained a direct effect on benefit finding. The results emphasize the predictive quality of resources for recovery and adjustment after surgery and the mediating role of coping. Findings are discussed with regard to recent developments in the study of post-traumatic growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-662
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Benefit
  • Cancer
  • Germany
  • Self-efficacy
  • Social support
  • Surgery


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