Stability and Transitions in Posttraumatic Growth Trajectories Among Cancer Patients: LCA and LTA Analyses

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Abstract

Objectives: The objectives of the current study were to identify (a) different post cancer treatment adaptation profiles; (b) factors that predict these adaptation profiles; and (c) transitions in post cancer-treatment adaptation profiles and trajectories in a sample (N = 198) of female breast cancer patients over a 2-year period. Method: Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to idenitfy profiles of post cancer treatment adaptation, based on a combined pattern of responses to observable indicators of distress, coping strategies, and posttraumatic growth. latent transition analysis (LTA) was used to track trajectories, based on the probabilities of transitions among latent classes. Results: Four postcancer treatment adaptation profiles were found: (a) distressed, (b) resistant, (c) constructive growth, and (d) struggling growth. Conclusions: The majority of transitions between different adaptation profiles occurred between 6 and 12 months after treatment. These findings offer theoretical and practice implications regarding posttraumatic growth in breast-cancer patients by distinguishing between profiles of adaptation and highlights a previously unidentified profile—struggling growth. These results contribute to the theoretical understanding of the complex relationship between growth, distress, and coping.

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