Posttraumatic growth experiences and its contextual factors in women with breast cancer: An integrative review

Jianxia Zhai, Jennifer Newton, Beverley Copnell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we synthesize current research that examines determinants and manifestations of posttraumatic growth (the phenomenon of posttraumatic growth can be embodied in several domains) in women with breast cancer. The findings of the integrative literature review may contribute to facilitating person-centered oncology care by raising health care professionals’ awareness and understanding of posttraumatic growth phenomenon among breast cancer survivors. The identification of factors contributing to posttraumatic growth and manifestations of posttraumatic growth are important in increasing the effectiveness of interventions in supporting women during their breast cancer journey. The methods proposed by Whittemore and Knafl (2005) were adopted to guide this integrative review. Quality assessment was conducted using recognized critical appraisal tools relating to quantitative and qualitative studies. Four main manifestations were synthesized from the literature: new perception of self; relatedness to others; new life philosophy; and spiritual and religious growth. Personal characteristics, illness factors, cognitive processing, coping strategies, social support, religion and spirituality, the body’s role and physical activities were identified as influencing posttraumatic growth in women with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-580
Number of pages27
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019

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