Participation year
Project title

Finding Benefit From Cancer Among Bone Marrow Transplant Patients: A Literature Review


Cancer is a stressful experience and produces detrimental effects such as the loss of physical functioning and psychological distress. However, a growing body of literature defines the possibility of positive growth through traumatic events, including victimization, war combat and serious illnesses. Recent studies have examined positive outcomes from illnesses and have found that people not only search for positive outcomes, but their attempt to find meaning could led to increased psychological adjustment and improved physical health. Theories such as Shelly Taylor's Theory of Cognitive Adaptation and Ronnie Janoff-Bulman's Assumptive World Theory support the notion that cancer can be viewed as a positive psychosocial transition. However, many cancer patients undergo an aggressive and life-threatening cancer treatment, known as Bone Marrow Transplantation (BM). Although BMT causes psychological distress and physical impairments, there is a possibility of BMT also serving as a stimulus to find benefit. The current study investigates finding benefit among BMT recipients. Specifically it examines the role of optimism in finding benefit, and the effects that benefit finding may have on psychological and physical functioning.

Carla  Garcia
Carla Garcia San Francisco State University