The Effect of Cognitive–Emotional Training on Post-traumatic Growth in Women with Breast Cancer in Middle East

  • Parvaneh Hamidian
  • Nasrin Rezaee
  • Mansour Shakiba
  • Ali Navidian


Overcoming distresses and negative consequences of serious crises such as cancers can lead to perception of positive changes in the patients. It is necessary to design and test the psychological interventions that can improve post-traumatic growth. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of cognitive–emotional training on post-traumatic growth in women with breast cancer referred to the department of chemotherapy. This is a quasi-experimental study and it was performed on 85 patients with breast cancer who referred to an educational hospital in southeastern of Iran in 2017. The eligible patients were selected through convenience method sampling among the patients and they randomly allocated into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received five sessions of emotional–cognitive training in two sessions per week. Each session lasted 60–90 min. The posttest data were collected by post-traumatic growth inventory (PTGI) 20 weeks after the end of the last intervention session. Collected data were analyzed by SPSS software version 21.00 using independent t test, paired t test, and Chi-square tests for demographic analysis. The results indicated that there is no significant difference in both groups in terms of individual variables such as age, marriage, duration of disease, and degree progression of cancer. Although the mean of PTG scores in posttest and the mean of variations in the PTG scores in the intervention group were 77.48 ± 11.18 and 25.81 ± 12.24, respectively, and it was significantly higher than the control group, 53.95 ± 14.86 and 7.69 ± 9, respectively (mean scores of PTG: p < .0001; mean changes of PTG: p < .001). According to the results of this study, cognitive–behavioral intervention had a positive and significant effect on post-traumatic growth in women with breast cancer. If intervention is found to be effective, cognitive and emotional strategies of such interventions could be integrated into daily clinical practice as a way to promote PTG in women who are being treated for breast cancer.


Breast cancer Cognitive–emotional intervention Post-traumatic growth 



This article was a part of a research project approved by Zahedan University of Medical Sciences with the code of 8271. Hereby, we extend our gratitude to the Deputy of Research and Technology of the University, hospital managers, and head of the chemotherapy unit, oncologists, and all participants for their cooperation.

Authors’ Contribution

All the authors contributed to the conceptualization and development of the study as well as the interpretation of the data. Furthermore, they all reviewed and edited the manuscript and approved the final draft. A.N. supervised the study.


This study did not receive any specific grant from the funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors Parvaneh Hamidian, Nasrin Rezaee, Mansour Shakiba, and Ali Navidian declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Regarding informed consent, both verbal and written informed consent were obtained from all participants being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parvaneh Hamidian
    • 1
  • Nasrin Rezaee
    • 2
  • Mansour Shakiba
    • 3
  • Ali Navidian
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of NursingZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran
  2. 2.Department of Nursing, Community Nursing Research CenterZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran
  4. 4.Pregnancy Health Research CenterZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran
  5. 5.Department of Counseling, School of Nursing and MidwiferyZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran

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