Positive psychology interventions in breast cancer. A systematic review

Anna Casellas-Grau, Antoni Font, Jaume Vives

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Positive psychology is an emerging area of empirical study, not only in clinical, but also in health psychology. The present systematic review aims to synthesize the evidence about the positive psychology interventions utilized in breast cancer. Methods Relevant studies were identified via Pubmed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane, CINAHL, Wiley Online Library, TDX, and DIALNET databases (up to April 2013). Only those papers focused on interventions related to positive psychology and carried out on breast cancer patients were included. Results Of the 7266 articles found through databases, 16 studies were finally included in this review. Five groups of therapies were found: mindfulness-based approaches, expression of positive emotions, spiritual interventions, hope therapy, and meaning-making interventions. These specific interventions promoted positive changes in breast cancer participants, such as enhanced quality of life, well-being, hope, benefit finding, or optimism. However, the disparity of the interventions and some methodological issues limit the outcomes. Conclusions Some studies provided relevant evidence about the clear development of positive aspects from the breast cancer experience. Positive interventions applied to patients and survivors of breast cancer were found to be able to promote positive aspects. A global consensus of a positive therapies classification is needed to take one more step in structuring positive psychology. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • breast cancer
  • breast oncology
  • intervention
  • positive psychology
  • systematic review


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