Acceptability of Bibliotherapy for Patients With Cancer: A Qualitative, Descriptive Study

Nicole Roberts

Virginia Lee

Bethsheba Ananng

Annett Körner

nursing research, qualitative, clinical practice, distress, bibliotherapy, cancer
ONF 2016, 43(5), 588-594. DOI: 10.1188/16.ONF.588-594

Purpose/Objectives: To determine the acceptability of a self-help workbook, Mastering the Art of Coping in Good Times and Bad, for patients with cancer.

Research Approach: Descriptive, qualitative.

Setting: Participants were recruited from the psychosocial support cancer centers of two tertiary care teaching hospitals in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Participants: 18 individuals diagnosed with cancer.

Methodologic Approach: A semistructured interview guide with open-ended questions was used to gather feedback from participants about the workbook.

Findings: 18 participants completed the interviews from which the data emerged. Two main categories were identified from the respondents’ interviews regarding the acceptability of the workbook. The first category focuses on content, whereas the other focuses on recommendations. Interviewees specified the following content as most helpful: (a) focusing on the positive, (b) mindfulness, (c) relationships, and (d) skill reinforcement. Recommendations to improve the intervention centered on having access to additional support while reading the workbook.

Conclusions: Bibliotherapy gives patients access to knowledge to help them cope and engage in their own self-management. The workbook Mastering the Art of Coping in Good Times and Bad may be an acceptable means of helping them manage their stress. 

Interpretation: Bibliotherapy is not only cost-effective and easy to administer but also an acceptable minimal intervention.

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