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Abstract

Secondary lymphedema is a chronic condition that can develop after the treatment of cancer and can often lead to negative psychological and social impairments. When dealing with chronic illness, hoping and coping are interdependent. Previous research has assessed the outcomes of workshops designed to enhance hope but has not examined the workshop itself to determine how those outcomes were achieved. This study deconstructs the Living Hopefully with Lymphedema workshop to identify (1) what aspects of the workshop facilitated or interfered with therapeutic progress, (2) key aspects of facilitation that contributed to the functioning of the workshop, and (3) how participants responded to the workshop. Two three-day workshops were attended by a total of 19 participants. All sessions were audio taped and the recordings analyzed. Theoretical coding revealed a central theme focused on the importance of a safe environment within the workshop. Facilitators and participants worked together to co-create, maintain, and protect a safe space in which to engage in therapy. Findings are discussed in relation to key aspects of facilitation and the participants’ response to the workshops. Recommendations for future workshop development are presented.

Keywords

Cancer, Survivorship, Coping, Intervention, Workshop, Group Facilitation, Interpretive Description

Author Bio(s)

Ryan Hamilton is an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: r.hamilton@unb.ca.

Roanne Thomas holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Practices and Well-being and is a Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Roanne.Thomas@uOttawa.ca.

Yvonne Anisimowicz is a PhD student in experimental psychology at the University of New Brunswick. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: y.anisimowicz@unb.ca.

Marquelle Piers holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from the University of New Brunswick.

Renee Matte is a PhD student in experimental psychology at the University of New Brunswick

Acknowledgements

This research was funded in part by a New Brunswick Health Research Foundation Bridge Grant. This research was undertaken, in part, thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs program.

Publication Date

10-29-2018

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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