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Effects of an Empowerment Program on Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth Levels of Cancer Survivors

A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Trial

Üzar-Özçetin, Yeter Sinem PhD; Hiçdurmaz, Duygu PhD

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000644

Background Psychosocial empowerment of cancer survivors can help improve their psychological resilience and enhance their posttraumatic growth. However, there is a lack of research exploring the effects of such empowerment programs on resilience and posttraumatic growth of cancer survivors.

Objective The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of an integrated empowerment program on cancer survivors.

Methods We conducted a randomized controlled trial with 89 adult cancer survivors (>25 years old) from 2 oncology hospitals. Using a table of random numbers, they were assigned randomly to the experimental group (n = 45), which participated in 10 sessions of a structured empowerment program, and the control group (n = 44), which received only routine care and no further intervention. Data were collected from patients using the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory and the Resilience Scale for Adults.

Results Posttraumatic growth and resilience levels significantly improved in the intervention group compared with the control group both at the end of and a month after the program.

Conclusion This study's empowerment program is effective in improving posttraumatic growth and resilience levels of cancer survivors who are prone to trauma.

Implications for Practice By enhancing resilience and posttraumatic growth of cancer survivors, the empowerment program may help restore life, and thus its application can contribute to the psychosocial well-being of cancer survivors. Nurses with training and experience can integrate this kind of program into clinical settings.

Author Affiliation: Faculty of Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing Department, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

This study is a part of PhD thesis of Yeter Sinem ÜZAR ÖZÇETİN under the supervision of Duygu HİÇDURMAZ.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Yeter Sinem Üzar-Özçetin, PhD, Faculty of Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing Department, Hacettepe University, PO Box 06100, Sihhiye-Altindag, Ankara, Turkey (

Accepted for publication June 17, 2018.

Online date: September 26, 2018

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