Psychosocial challenges for patients with advanced lung cancer: interventions to improve well-being.
ABSTRACT: As compared to other cancers, lung malignancies are associated with high symptom burden, poorer prognosis, and stigmatization. Such factors increase psychological distress and negatively impact quality of life. Research has documented the efficacy of psychosocial interventions to alleviate psychological distress and promote well-being among patients with cancer. This article summarizes the current literature on psychosocial interventions in lung cancer. Major types of psychosocial interventions in lung cancer include cognitive-behavioral therapies, psycho-education, mind-body, exercise, and supportive or palliative care strategies. Discussion relative to the purpose, sample, research design, outcomes, and quality of the studies is presented. Findings may be useful in clinical environments as a resource to help health providers better understand mental health treatment options and care for patients facing lung cancer. The need to direct future research toward the advancement of science and improve well-being and quality of life outcomes for patients with advanced lung cancer and their family members is discussed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The risk of metastases in uveal melanoma can accurately be estimated through genetic analysis of the tumor. A growing number of patients decide to receive information on their prognosis, although this can be extremely burdensome. Studies on the psychosocial impact of testing are sparse. The objective of this study was to examine traits of patients opting for prognostication, to investigate its psychosocial impact and the use of psycho-oncological services over time. We further examined characteristics of patients utilizing these services and risk factors of prolonged psychological distress. DESIGN AND METHODS:This study is a non-randomized controlled prospective clinical observational trial. Patients availing for prognostication formed the test group, while those who opted out constituted the observational group. The psychosocial impact of genetic testing was assessed with the following variables: resilience, social support, fear of tumor progression, depression, general distress, health-related quality of life, estimation of the perceived risk, and the utilization of psycho-oncological interventions. Data were assessed at five different time points over a period of 12?months. We applied binary logistic regression analysis, multiple linear regressions and a mixed model. RESULTS:Of 175 patients, 63 decided to obtain prognostic information. Treatment method (enucleation > brachytherapy), lower social support and higher general distress could significantly predict patient's choice for prognostic testing. After result announcement, perceived risk of metastases was significantly increased in patients with poor prognosis, while it decreased in those with good prognosis. Overall, a significant decrease over time appeared concerning fear of progression, general distress, depression and anxiety. Mental quality of life increased over time. The utilization of psycho-oncological interventions increased significantly after prognostication; however, this was equivalent in the test and observational groups. Female sex, higher general distress and higher anxiety predicted greater use of psycho-oncological interventions. DISCUSSION:Availing of prognostic testing is not associated with poorer subsequent psychological well-being. It rather may help to alleviate distress and promote a more realistic risk perception. However, psychological support should be available to all patients, independent of prognosis and treatment, especially considering that patients with low social support and high distress increasingly opt for prognostication.
Project description:BACKGROUND: With the growing recognition that patients and partners react to a cancer diagnosis as an interdependent system and increasing evidence that psychosocial interventions can be beneficial to both patients and partners, there has been a recent increase in the attention given to interventions that target couples. The aim of this systematic review was to identify existing couple-based interventions for patients with cancer and their partners and explore the efficacy of these interventions (including whether there is added value to target the couple versus individuals), the content and delivery of couple-based interventions, and to identify the key elements of couple-based interventions that promote improvement in adjustment to cancer diagnosis. METHOD: A systematic review of the cancer literature was performed to identify experimental and quasi-experimental couple-based interventions published between 1990 and 2011. To be considered for this review, studies had to test the efficacy of a psychosocial intervention for couples affected by cancer. Studies were excluded if they were published in a language other than English or French, focused on pharmacological, exercise, or dietary components combined with psychosocial components, or did not assess the impact of the intervention on psychological distress (e.g., depression, anxiety) or quality of life. Data were extracted using a standardised data collection form, and were analysed independently by three reviewers. RESULTS: Of the 709 articles screened, 23 were included in this review. Couple-based interventions were most efficacious in improving couple communication, psychological distress, and relationship functioning. Interventions had a limited impact on physical distress and social adjustment. Most interventions focused on improving communication and increasing understanding of the cancer diagnosis within couples. Interventions were most often delivered by masters-level nurses or clinical psychologists. Although most were delivered in person, few were telephone-based. No difference in efficacy was noted based on mode of delivery. Factors associated with uptake and completion included symptom severity, available time and willingness to travel. CONCLUSION: Given effect sizes of couple-based interventions are similar to those reported in recent meta-analyses of patient-only and caregiver-only interventions (~d=.35-.45), it appears couple-based interventions for patients with cancer and their partners may be at least as efficacious as patient-only and caregiver-only interventions. Despite evidence that couple-based interventions enhance psycho-social adjustment for both patients and partners, these interventions have not yet been widely adopted. Although more work is needed to facilitate translation to routine practice, evidence reviewed is promising in reducing distress and improving coping and adjustment to a cancer diagnosis or to cancer symptoms.
Project description:Research has shown that orphans in sub-Saharan Africa are at increased risk for mental health problems. Exposure to maltreatment and HIV/AIDS-related stigmatization are related to orphans' psychological distress. Yet, researchers stress the need for more research in low-income countries to identify which factors of being an orphan may lead to psychological distress.The present study aims to systematically investigate orphans' experiences of maltreatment and stigmatization to identify factors that relate to their psychological distress.In total, 89 Tanzanian children who had lost at least one parent were compared to 89 matched non-orphans (mean age: 11 years; 51% boys). We measured exposure to maltreatment and perceived stigmatization as an orphan. Mental health was assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Children's Depression Inventory, the UCLA PTSD Index for Children, and the Reactive-Proactive Questionnaire.Orphans reported significantly more experiences of neglect, but not of abuse. A group comparison revealed more depressive symptoms, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and aggressive behavior among orphans. Neglect, abuse, and stigmatization correlated with orphans' internalizing and externalizing problems, yet only neglect and stigmatization were related to orphans' depression severity. Perceived stigmatization moderated the relationship between neglect and depression.Our findings suggest that orphans in Tanzania are at increased risk of experiencing neglect. Maltreatment and perceived stigmatization may play a role in orphans' psychological distress. Culturally appropriate and evidence-based interventions may help to prevent maltreatment and stigmatization of orphans.
Project description:Although psycho-oncological interventions have been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhance quality of life, a substantial number of patients with advanced cancer do not receive psycho-oncological interventions tailored to their individual situation. Given the lack of reliable data on the efficacy of psycho-oncological interventions in palliative care settings, we aim to examine the efficacy of a brief, manualized individual psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer: Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM). CALM aims to reduce depression and death anxiety, to strengthen communication with health care providers, and to enhance hope and meaning in life. We adapted the intervention for German cancer care settings.We use a single-blinded randomized-controlled trial design with two treatment conditions: intervention group (IG, CALM) and control group (CG). Patients in the CG receive a usual non-manualized supportive psycho-oncological intervention (SPI). Patients are randomized between the IG and CG and assessed at baseline (t0), after three (t1) and after 6 months (t2). We include patients with a malignant solid tumor who have tumor stages of III or IV (UICC classification). Patients who are included in the study are at least 18 years old, speak German fluently, score greater than or equal to nine on the PHQ-9 or/and greater than or equal to five on the Distress Thermometer. It is further necessary that there is no evidence of severe cognitive impairments. We measure depression, anxiety, distress, quality of life, demoralization, symptom distress, fatigue as well as spiritual well-being, posttraumatic growth and close relationship experiences using validated questionnaires. We hypothesize that patients in the IG will show a significantly lower level of depression 6 months after baseline compared to patients in the CG. We further hypothesize a significant reduction in anxiety and fatigue as well as significant improvements in psychological and spiritual well-being, meaning and post-traumatic growth in the IG compared to CG 6 months after baseline.Our study will contribute important statistical evidence on whether CALM can reduce depression and existential distress in a German sample of advanced and highly distressed cancer patients.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02051660.
Project description:CONTEXT:Little research has explored coping skills practice in relation to symptom outcomes in psychosocial interventions for cancer patients and their family caregivers. OBJECTIVES:To examine associations of coping skills practice to symptom change in a telephone symptom management (TSM) intervention delivered concurrently to lung cancer patients and their caregivers. METHODS:This study was a secondary analysis of a randomized pilot trial. Data were examined from patient-caregiver dyads (n = 51 dyads) that were randomized to the TSM intervention. Guided by social cognitive theory, TSM involved four weekly sessions where dyads were taught coping skills including a mindfulness exercise, guided imagery, pursed lips breathing, cognitive restructuring, problem solving, emotion-focused coping, and assertive communication. Symptoms were assessed, including patients' and caregivers' psychological distress and patients' pain interference, fatigue interference, and distress related to breathlessness. Multiple regression analyses examined associations of coping skills practice during the intervention to symptoms at six weeks after the intervention. RESULTS:For patients, greater practice of assertive communication was associated with less pain interference (? = -0.45, P = 0.02) and psychological distress (? = -0.36, P = 0.047); for caregivers, greater practice of guided imagery was associated with less psychological distress (? = -0.30, P = 0.01). Unexpectedly, for patients, greater practice of a mindfulness exercise was associated with higher pain (? = 0.47, P = 0.07) and fatigue interference (? = 0.49, P = 0.04); greater practice of problem solving was associated with higher distress related to breathlessness (? = 0.56, P = 0.01) and psychological distress (? = 0.36, P = 0.08). CONCLUSION:Findings suggest that the effectiveness of TSM may have been reduced by competing effects of certain coping skills. Future interventions should consider focusing on assertive communication training for patients and guided imagery for caregivers.
Project description:BACKGROUND/AIM:Psycho-oncological distress is a relevant clinical problem. The aim of this study was to administer a standardized psycho-oncological distress screening for early identification and indication-based treatment of highly distressed orthopedic cancer patients as well as the evaluation of distress patterns. PATIENTS AND METHODS:In total, 35 patients with cancer were psycho-oncologically screened using a cancer-specific expert rating scale (Basic Documentation for Psycho-Oncology Short Form) at three different time points (day of admission, day before discharge, 3 months postoperatively). Psycho-oncological support was offered to all patients whose distress exceeded a defined cut-off value. RESULTS:Levels of distress in approximately 51% of patients exceeded the cut-off value at the time of admission and these patients received psycho-oncological support. The high distress levels decreased significantly over time. Patients whose distress did not exceed the cut-off value at the first assessment showed low distress levels at all time points. CONCLUSION:A relevant number of orthopedic tumor patients suffer from psychosocial distress. Standardized screening might help to identify and adequately treat those patients.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Approximately 35% of patients with cancer experience clinically significant distress, and unmet psychological supportive care needs are prevalent. This study describes the protocol for a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an internet-based psychological intervention for distressed patients with cancer. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:In phase I, the intervention was developed on an interactive web platform and pilot tested for acceptability using a qualitative methodology with 21 patients with cancer. Phase II is an RCT underway with patients with or at risk of elevated psychological distress comparing: (1) static patient education website with (2) individualised web-delivered cognitive behavioural intervention (CancerCope). Participants were recruited through the Queensland Cancer Registry and Cancer Council Helpline and met the following inclusion criteria: (1) recently diagnosed with cancer; (2) able to read and speak English; (3) no previous history of head injury, dementia or psychiatric illness; (4) no other concurrent cancer; (5) phone and internet access; (5) scored ?4 on the Distress Thermometer. Participants are assessed at four time points: baseline/recruitment and 2, 6 and 12 months after recruitment and intervention commencement. Of the 163 participants recruited, 50% met caseness for distress. The area of highest unmet supportive care needs were psychological followed by physical and daily living needs. Primary outcomes are psychological and cancer-specific distress and unmet psychological supportive care needs. Secondary outcomes are positive adjustment, quality of life and cost-effectiveness. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Ethical approval was obtained from the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval: PSY/70/13/HREC) and the Metro South Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/13/QPAH/601). All participants provide informed consent prior to taking part in the study. Once completed, this study will provide recommendations about the efficacy of web-based cognitive behavioural interventions to facilitate better psychosocial adjustment for people with cancer. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ANZCTR (ACTRN12613001026718).
Project description:INTRODUCTION:In recent years, medical treatment for cancer has improved, thereby increasing the life expectancy of patients with cancer. Hence, the focus in healthcare shifted towards analysing treatments that offer to decrease distress and improve the quality of life of patients with cancer. The psychological burden of patients with cancer originates from all kinds of psychosocial challenges related to diagnosis and treatment. Cancer counselling centres (CCounCs) try to address these concerns. However, the current literature lacks research on the effectiveness of CCounCs. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of CCounCs with regard to distress and other relevant psychosocial variables (quality of life, anxietyand so on). METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This prospective observational study with a non-randomised control group has three measurement points: before the first counselling session (baseline, t0) and at 2?weeks and 3?months after baseline (t1, t2). Patients and their relatives who seek counselling between December 2018 and November 2020 and have sufficient German language skills will be included. The control group will be recruited at clinics and oncological outpatient centres in Hamburg. Propensity scoring will be applied to adjust for differences between the control and intervention groups at baseline. Sociodemographic data, medical data and counselling concerns are measured at baseline. Distress (distress thermometer), quality of life (Short Form-8 Health Survey, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30), anxiety (Generalized AnxietyDisorder-7), depression (Patient HealthQuestionnaire-9) and further psychosocial variables are assessed at all time points. With a total of 787 participants, differences between the intervention and control groups of a small effect size (f=0.10) can be detected with a power of 80%. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study was registered prior to data collection with the German Registration of Clinical Trials in September 2018. Ethical approval was received by the local psychological ethical committee of the Center for Psychosocial Medicine at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in August 2018. The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:DRKS00015516; Pre-results.
Project description:Psychosocial factors such as personality traits and depression may alter immune and endocrine function, with possible effects on cancer incidence and survival. Although these factors have been extensively studied as risk and prognostic factors for cancer, the associations remain unclear. The author used data from prospective cohort studies in population-based and clinical databases to investigate these relations. The findings do not support the hypotheses that personality traits and depression are direct risk factors for cancer and cancer survival.Some researchers have recently reported that cancer affects the psychological status of the partners and family members of cancer patients. The mechanisms underlying this hypothesis imply the existence of not only psychological distress from caregiving and grief but also a shared unhealthy lifestyle. Only a few studies have suggested that major psychosocial problems develop in partners of cancer patients. The present study used nationwide population-based data to investigate depression risk among male partners of women with breast cancer. The results support the hypothesis that such men are at increased risk of depression.In conclusion, the effects of personality traits and depression on cancer risk and survival appear to be extremely small. In addition, partners of cancer patients were at increased risk of depression. Screening partners and family members of cancer patients for depressive symptoms is therefore an important concern for research in psycho-oncology.
Project description:Young breast cancer survivors (aged 50 years and under) and their partners are at an elevated risk for relationship distress and poor psychological adjustment relative to older age couples. Limited availability of time and resources and the distance to travel are major barriers to engaging in evidence-based psychosocial support programs. This paper describes the study protocol of a novel, manualized online intervention called Couplelinks that was developed to improve relationship adjustment and psychological wellbeing of young couples affected by breast cancer. Couplelinks is a custom-designed website offering a professionally facilitated, couple-centered intervention that entails informational, experiential, and interactive components.A total of 80 heterosexual couples from across Canada in which the female partner has been diagnosed with a primary breast cancer will be recruited and randomized to a treatment or waitlist control group. Six dyadic learning modules form the core of the program and will be undertaken on a weekly basis. The manualized online intervention involves psycho-education and experiential exercises to enhance communication, coping ability, mutual empathy, and perspective-taking in relation to cancer. An online facilitator who is a trained mental health professional will guide and support couples throughout the process. Data collection will occur at baseline, at post-treatment or eight weeks into the waiting period, and at the three-month follow-up assessment. Primary outcome measures include the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Survey (RDAS) and Dyadic Coping Inventory (DCI) scores, and secondary outcome measures include the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Survey (HADS) score.Couplelinks is one of the first internet-based psychological interventions to improve the psychosocial adjustment of couples coping with a life-threatening illness such as cancer. If successful, the design of this program as described in this paper makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the delivery of couple-focused psychosocial interventions, both within and outside of oncology.This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier: NCT01089764 ) on 17 March 2010.