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Psychooncology. 2007 Mar;16(3):241-8.

The concept and measurement of meaning in life in Dutch cancer patients.

Author information

  • 1Northern Centre for Healthcare Research, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. t.jaarsma@med.umcg.nl


We investigated the psychometric properties of a Dutch translation of the Personal Meaning Profile in a heterogeneous group of cancer patients. Our study resulted in a relatively short scale consisting of 39 of the 57 original items, divided into 5 factors, labeled 'relation with God'; 'dedication to life'; 'fairness of life'; 'goal-orientedness' and 'relations with other people', which can be summed to a total score of the experience of meaning in life. The internal consistency of the total scale as well as of its sub dimensions was high. The experience of meaning in life was positively related to feelings of psychological well-being and negatively to feelings of distress. Furthermore, the experience of meaning in life was also related to trait-like characteristics as personality. Future research can investigate its appropriateness for other populations than cancer patients, and if and how the experience of meaning in life eventually changes as a result of existential threats.

Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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