Psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life and emotional wellbeing in newly diagnosed cancer patients

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Abstract

Title
Psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life and emotional wellbeing for recently diagnosed cancer patients.

Background
Despite clear guidelines recommending the provision of emotional support for cancer patients, we do not know how best to address psychological distress in this group.

Aim
To assess the effects of psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life (QoL) and general psychological distress newly diagnosed cancer patients.

Methods
We searched electronic sources for RCTs of psychosocial interventions or ‘talking therapies’ with individual newly diagnosed cancer patients. Only trials measuring QoL and general psychological distress were included. Meta-analyses examined subgroups by outcome measurement, mode of delivery and discipline of trained helper.

Results
Thirty trials met the criteria. No significant effects were observed for QoL at 6-months (SMD 0.11; 95% CI -0.00 to 0.22) except when using cancer-specific measures (SMD 0.16; 95% CI 0.02 to 0.30). Sub-group analyses revealed that psycho-educational, nurse-delivered interventions improved QoL (SMD 0.23; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.43). General psychological distress as assessed by ‘mood measures’ improved (SMD - 0.81; 95% CI -1.44 to -0.18), but heterogeneity was a factor.

Discussion and conclusion
Psychosocial interventions vary in format and content, raising concerns about heterogeneity, despite appearing to have a beneficial impact on cancer-specific QoL and mood. Future research should concentrate on screening for emotional support needs and identifying common elements within interventions that are of value. Authors should carefully select outcome measures that are appropriately sensitive to change.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2013
EventIPOS 15th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 04 Nov 201308 Nov 2013

Conference

ConferenceIPOS 15th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology
CountryNetherlands
CityRotterdam
Period04/11/201308/11/2013

Keywords

  • psychosocial
  • cancer
  • psycho-oncology

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