Resilience in adult cancer care: A review and concept analysis

Date 24 November 2018
Event ESMO Asia 2018 Congress
Session Poster display - Cocktail
Topics Supportive Measures
Presenter Dan Luo
Citation Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_9): ix129-ix138. 10.1093/annonc/mdy444
Authors D. Luo1, M. Eicher2, K. White1
  • 1Faculty Of Medicine And Health, University of Sydney, 2050 - Sydney/AU
  • 2Institute Of Higher Education And Research In Healthcare, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, 1011 - Lausanne/CH



High distress prevalence has been observed in adult cancer patients. Resilience, as a concept to describe adaptation process of facing significant adversity, has become an increasingly discussed topic in cancer supportive care. To date, the definition of resilience still remains unclearly due to various conceptualization approaches. In order to have a better understanding of the phenomenon of resilience and facilitate resilience of cancer patients, a review and concept analysis was conducted as a base of a clearer conceptualization of resilience in the adult cancer care context.


Walker and Avant method of concept analysis was employed to analyze the concept of resilience. Literature were searched in MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, Web of Knowledge and Scopus databases. The search yielded 39 publications relevant to the subject heading following screening, 28 papers were included in the final analysis. In light of Walker & Avant method, the broad uses and attributes of resilience were identified first. Then, cases (model, borderline, related, contrary) were developed based on the analysis. Finally, the antecedents and consequences of resilience were reviewed and a new definition of resilience in adult cancer care context was provided.


The attributes associated with resilience in adult cancer patients were "ego resiliency", “recalibration” and “positive interaction with environment”. The antecedent of resilience was “cancer-related stressors”, and the consequences were “lower degree of emotional distress” and “lasting through cancer”. The new definition of resilience in adult cancer care context was “the capacity and a dynamic recalibration process that enable an individual to mediating emotional distress and lasting through the illness experience via positive interaction with environment when facing with cancer-related stressors”.


This paper will contribute to a better understanding of the concept of resilience in adult cancer care settings and provide a crucial base for future research in the field of supportive cancer care. Researchers can apply this new definition as a guide to develop specific instruments measuring resilience in cancer care context and explore tailored interventions for adult cancer patients in the future.

Editorial acknowledgement

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Prof. Kate White; Prof. Manuela Eicher.


Has not received any funding.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.