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Title: Factors associated with posttraumatic growth following health-related trauma
Author: Dewar, Sophie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 6228
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The experience of positive personal growth, termed posttraumatic growth (PTG), following significant illness events, has become increasingly prominent as a topic of interest. The evidence indicates that higher levels of PTG are associated with numerous positive health-related outcomes, including reduced physical complications and increased survival. Based on such findings there have been recent efforts to incorporate PTG into cognitive-behavioural clinical interventions. Such efforts appear theoretically justified, with the prominent model of PTG emphasising a central role of cognitive processing in the development of growth. The first paper presented here critically reviews recent evidence pertaining to the relationship between cognitive processing and PTG. Whilst the literature appears to support the role of cognitive avoidance, positive reappraisal, and threat appraisals in the development of PTG, there are mixed conclusions and significant limitations to existing research. The evidence base needs substantial development, a greater theoretical foundation, and improved conceptual clarity before it provides sufficient empirical grounding upon which to develop clinical interventions. The second paper presented here focuses specifically upon stroke survivors. Within the stroke literature there remains a heavy pathology-focus and little attention has been paid to positive outcomes, which may lead to a biased understanding of post-stroke adjustment. The empirical paper reports on a cross-sectional survey study investigating PTG and its correlates in 87 stroke survivors. The findings extend the highly limited evidence base indicating the possibility of PTG after stroke. Higher levels of post- stroke PTG were associated with social support and positive appraisal patterns. The findings also justify further research into the role that demographic and stroke-specific factors play in the development of post-stroke PTG. Clinically, the pattern of associations found indicates that stroke rehabilitation should incorporate a greater psychosocial focus in order to promote positive outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available