Rural Resilience in Cancer Survivors: Conceptual Analysis of a Global Phenomenon


Aim: The aims of this analysis are to (1) identify the concept of rural resiliency in cancer survivors in the nursing literature and (2) propose a conceptual framework that may help nurses leverage rural resilience to improve survivorship care.

Background: Rural cancer survivors demonstrate rural resiliency by utilizing aspects of rural culture to improve their psychosocial distress. However, resiliency in rural cancer survivors is poorly understood.

Design: We used Walker & Avants’ concept analysis approach to direct article selection, review, and analysis.

Review methods: We identified a definition, antecedents, consequences, attributes, empirical referents, and related terms, and provide model, contrary, and borderline case examples.

Results: We identified 29 articles that met inclusion criteria. We propose a conceptual model of rural resiliency that is grounded in three domains of rural culture: spirituality, cultural norms, and social capital. Attributes of rural culture within these domains impact a cancer survivor’s psychosocial health, leading to either negative or positive psychosocial outcomes.

Conclusion: A better understanding of how rural resiliency impacts cancer survivors can help clinicians and researchers provide culturally-targeted post-treatment interventions. Our proposed conceptual framework may guide nurse researchers to develop measurement tools that evaluate rural resilience and its impact on health outcomes.

Keywords: rural, cancer survivor, resilience, concept analysis, conceptual framework


Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).