The Relationship Between Colorectal Cancer Survivors’ Positive Psychology, Symptom Characteristics, and Prior Trauma During Acute Cancer Survivorship

Sameena F. Sheikh-Wu

Debbie Anglade

Karina A. Gattamorta

Canhua Xiao

Charles A. Downs

benefit finding, colorectal cancer, health-related outcomes, post-traumatic growth
ONF 2022, 50(1), 115-127. DOI: 10.1188/23.ONF.115-127

Objectives: To examine colorectal cancer survivors’ positive psychology and symptom characteristics, and to assess for potential impact of prior trauma on these relationships during acute cancer survivorship.

Sample & Setting: A cross-sectional study of 117 colorectal cancer survivors was conducted at a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center.

Methods & Variables: Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, and the Carver Benefit Finding Scale and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory assessed positive psychology. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression analyses were performed.

Results: 49 symptoms were reported and varied based on prior trauma. Significance was found between positive psychology and symptom frequency (p < 0.001); symptoms reported almost daily and daily were inversely related to positive psychology.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses should prioritize symptoms; less frequent symptoms improve positive psychology. Early identification of positive changes may promote survivors’ self-awareness and management skills to mitigate adverse symptoms.

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