Predictors of finding benefit after lung cancer diagnosis

Andrea A. Thornton, Jason E. Owen, Kemp Kernstine, Marianna Koczywas, Frederic Grannis, Mihaela Cristea, Karen Reckamp, Annette L. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined benefit finding in patients with lung cancer, including level of benefit finding and change in benefit finding over time, and tested a predictive model postulating that greater impact of and engagement with the stressor promotes benefit finding. Methods: Patients diagnosed with a primary lung cancer within the past 6 months (M = 16 weeks post-diagnosis) completed measures of benefit finding, cancer-related intrusions, perceived stressfulness, coping, and demographic and medical information at study entry (T1; n = 118) and 3 months later (T2; n = 79). Results: Level of benefit finding at both assessments was to a 'mild-to-moderate degree'. Benefit finding increased over time for patients with small cell carcinoma, but not for those with nonsmall cell carcinoma. The proposed model explained 33% of the variance in T1 benefit finding, and 64% (using T1 coping measures) and 71% (using T2 coping measures) of the variance in T2 benefit finding. Greater benefit finding was associated with having small cell lung cancer, higher cancer-related intrusions, lower perceived cancer-related stress, and greater approach-oriented coping. Positive reframing coping emerged as the single unique approachoriented coping scale predicting benefit finding at T1, and emotional approach coping was the single unique approach-oriented coping scale predicting benefit finding at T2. Conclusion: Findings provide general support for a theoretical model positing that stressor impact and engagement with the stressor contribute to the development of benefit finding after cancer. Future research with larger, more diverse samples is needed to confirm and extend these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-373
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Benefit finding
  • Coping
  • Lung cancer
  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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