Tell cancer to take a hike: post traumatic growth on the trail to recovery

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Justin Harmon, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study focuses on posttraumatic growth (PTG) in patients and survivors of cancer through their participation in a hiking program. Major life crises like cancer can significantly challenge or destroy one’s sense of self, thus necessitating the need to find PTG during the treatment and recovery process. Building on the fundamentals of nature therapy and support groups, the hiking program created a non-traditional resource for people with cancer and survivors outside of medicalized venues to attend to their needs of meaning-making and PTG on their trail to recovery. As many participants did not find the structure and/or ‘problem-focused’ feel of traditional support groups to their liking, the hiking group served as a welcomed resource for coping and living a healthy life. Hikers found that their participation in the hiking group led to a normalization process that helped them acclimate to their ‘new normal’ as either a patient of cancer or survivor.

Additional Information

Leisure/Loisir 43(4), 459-478
Language: English
Date: 2019
Cancer, leisure, nature, posttraumatic growth, support groups

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