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Support Care Cancer. 2015 Mar;23(3):651-9. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2399-5. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

Rebuilding self-confidence after cancer: a feasibility study of life-coaching.

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Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, S017 1BJ, UK,



Cancer survivors often experience decreased self-confidence which impacts negatively on their ability to self-manage the practical, social and emotional problems frequently faced as they emerge from end of treatment. This was a feasibility study of a life-coaching intervention, designed to rebuild confidence of survivors and support transition to life after cancer treatment.


A one group pre-test, post-test design was used, recruiting participants from community organisations. Eligibility criteria are as follows: <1 year of completion of primary cancer treatment, aged >18, no metastases, and no mental health problems. Participants received one individualised face-to-face and five telephone coaching sessions over 3 months. Outcome measures are as follows: New General Self-Efficacy Scale, Hope Scale, Personal Well-being Index, Assessment of Survivorship Concerns, Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Social Difficulties Index, and a goal attainment score. Interviews explored feasibility, acceptability and impact of life-coaching and research design.


Nine women and two men were recruited, representing varying cancer diagnoses. All outcome measures were sensitive to change and indicated positive trends post-intervention. Participant interviews indicated the intervention was well received and had a positive impact. Lessons were learnt about study design, recruitment and intervention delivery.


Life-coaching has a potential to enable cancer survivors to manage the transition to life beyond cancer and effect change on a range of outcomes. The intervention was feasible to deliver and acceptable to survivors at a time when many struggle to make sense of life. It merits further evaluation through a randomised controlled trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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