Author(s): Dirksen SR
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to explore search for meaning in long-term survivors of malignant melanoma and the relationship of this meaning to self-blame and well-being. The sample consisted of 31 long-term melanoma survivors who had been free of disease for 5 years or longer. Measures included the Search for Meaning scale, a single item on self-blame and the Index of Well-Being. Data were analysed by descriptive statistics and t-tests. Findings revealed that 52\% (n = 16) of the sample did search for meaning which resulted in an identifiable cause for their cancer and a quiet reassessment of life. Subjects indicating self-responsibility for their cancer expressed a greater meaning search than the group who did not blame self (P < 0.01). Well-being scores were not significantly related to this search for meaning. Results suggest that for some survivors the cancer experience elicits a search for meaning which is significantly associated with self-blame. This study extends developing nursing theory on survivorship by providing insight into the meaning of the cancer experience in long-term survivors.
This article was published in J Adv Nurs
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine