The role of meaning in advanced cancer- integrating the constructs of assumptive world, sense of coherence and meaning-based coping

Carrie Lethborg, Sanchia Aranda, Sid Bloch, David Kissane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This study used qualitative methods to elicit the thoughts and attitudes of patients with advanced cancer. Our two interrelated aims were to explore how participants experience and apply meaning; and to consider whether this experience can be understood within an integrated framework of assumptive world (AW), sense of coherence (SOC) and meaning-based coping (MBC). Using semi-structured interviews, 26 conversations were held overall with 10 participants. Transcriptions were analysed for themes of livedexperience and for evidence of the principal elements of AW, SOC, and MBC. Findings suggest three interrelated domains that form an adaptive pathway towards coherence and sense of self. While this pathway is essentially linear it is also responsive to the ongoing stressful nature of advanced cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2006


  • Advanced cancer
  • Assumptive world
  • Meaning-based coping
  • Sense of coherence

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