Benefit FindingThe Benefit Finding scale for breast cancer assesses the perception that positive contributions were made to one's life by the experience of being diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer. The original scale was developed by Vicki Helgeson at Carnegie Mellon University (citation below). We wrote a few additional items and distilled the set down a little by removing difficult and redundant items. In our intervention study, cited below, the items tended to form a single factor. In a later study, also cited below, we found that benefit finding early in the cancer experience predicted better psychosocial adjustment years later.
Tomich, P. L., & Helgeson, V. S. (2004). Is finding something good in the bad always good? Benefit finding among women with breast cancer. Health Psychology, 23, 16-23.
Antoni, M. H., Lehman, J. M., Kilbourn, K. M., Boyers, A. E.,
L., Alferi, S. M., Yount, S. E., McGregor, B. A., Arena, P. L., Harris,
D., Price, A. A., & Carver, C. S. (2001).
Cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention decreases the
prevalence of depression and enhances benefit finding among women under
treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychology,
20, 20-32. [abstract]
Carver, C. S., & Antoni, M. H. (2004). Finding benefit in breast cancer during the year after diagnosis predicts better adjustment 5 to 8 years after diagnosis. Health Psychology, 26, 595-598. [abstract]
Cancer patients sometimes feel that having cancer makes contributions to their lives, as well as causing problems. Indicate how much you agree with each of the following, using these response options.
1 = Not at all
2 = A little
3 = Moderately
4 = Quite a bit
5 = Extremely
Having had breast cancer ...
1. has led me to be more accepting of things.
2. has taught me how to adjust to things I cannot change.
3. has helped me take things as they come.
4. has brought my family closer together.
5. has made me more sensitive to family issues.
6. has taught me that everyone has a purpose in life.
7. has shown me that all people need to be loved.
8. has made me realize the importance of planning for my family’s future.
9. has made me more aware and concerned for the future of all human beings.
10. has taught me to be patient.
11. has led me to deal better with stress and problems.
12. has led me to meet people who have become some of my best friends.
13. has contributed to my overall emotional and spiritual growth.
14. has helped me become more aware of the love and support available from other people.
15. has helped me realize who my real friends are.
16. has helped me become more focused on priorities, with a deeper sense of purpose in life.
17. has helped me become a stronger person, more able to cope effectively with future life challenges.