Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Pa Der Vang

Abstract

The Renewing Life program is offered through Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center. It is a unique approach designed to complement conventional medical care for individuals with life threatening or chronic illness, such as breast cancer. Renewing Life utilizes a manual that participants use as a tool throughout the sessions. Renewing Life has a specifically developed curriculum to assist participants in better understanding and processing the management of their life threatening disease or chronic illness. It teaches participants to live their lives genuinely in order to get the quality of life they may be seeking.

Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center received a grant from Susan G. Komen to offer the Renewing Life program to low income women managing a breast cancer diagnosis. Pathways utilized this support to offer the Renewing Life program over the course of an inspirational retreat weekend. This research is meant examine, from the participant’s perspective, how Renewing Life impacted them.

This was a mixed methods study that comprised of a focus group and a survey. The focus group results revealed three consistent themes. It was found that Renewing Life increased self-confidence, increased the feeling of connectedness and a sense of community, and allowed for individuals to better let go of fear they carried and find peace. The survey utilized the Self-Assessment of Change tool, a scale containing word pairs. The word pairs consisted of a positive word and a negative word, for example depressed and hopeful. The results revealed a significant positive difference from the negative word to the positive word; therefore participants felt more positive feelings about their life after part taking in Renewing Life. These results illustrate the impact the Renewing Life program has on participants.

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