Patients undergoing chemotherapy who utilize self-guided stress management techniques have significantly greater vitality, fewer emotional problems, better mental health, and fewer physical problems, according to a study conducted at the H Lee Moffitt Center and Research Institute. According to Paul Jacobsen, PhD, Program Leader of the Psychosocial and Palliative Care Program at Moffitt and leader of the study, these patients did better than patients offered only the usual psychosocial support, consisting of visits with a social worker. More surprisingly, the self-taught patients also did better than patients trained in stress management by professionals.
Although patients undergoing chemotherapy experience fewer side effects than in the past, nausea and fatigue can be debilitating in many patients, as can the emotional distress that accompanies coping with cancer . A number of studies have shown that psychosocial interventions incorporating stress-management techniques can relieve emotional distress and nausea both prior to and following chemotherapy. The Moffitt study, comparing how such techniques are learned, concluded that a self-guided approach produces the best results.
In this study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 382 patients diagnosed with cancer but not yet undergoing chemotherapy were evaluated by an oncology social worker. The social worker determined the patient's need for psychosocial services, evaluated how well the patient understood their medical condition, screened for the presence of possible mental health disorders, and gave the patient information about support services present at the cancer center and in the communityall the usual care normally offered to a newly-diagnosed patient. In addition, some patients also received intensive individual training with a clinician in stress management techniques shown to be effective in improving mental and physical well-being in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Page: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Andrea Lazarus
Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
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