A randomised controlled trial of support group intervention after breast cancer treatment: Results on anxiety and depression
Source: Acta Oncologica, Volume 51, Number 2, February 2012 , pp. 198-207(10)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Background. Previous studies have demonstrated that between 20 and 30% of women treated for breast cancer have measurable signs of anxiety and depression compared with 6% in a population of healthy women. Depression has been proposed as a predictive factor for recurrence and survival. The aim of the present study was to evaluate if psychosocial support intervention could influence anxiety and depression during the first year after diagnosis. Material and methods. Newly diagnosed breast cancer patients were randomised between April 2002 and November 2007 and stratified by adjuvant chemotherapy. Of 382 eligible patients, 191 ++ 191 patients were randomised to intervention group or control group, respectively. Control patients were subjected to standard follow-up routines. The Intervention group had support intervention at the Foundation Lustgården Mälardalen. The rehabilitation lasted one week on a residential basis followed by four days of follow-up two months later. We used the Swedish version of the HAD scale with a cut-off value greater than 10 for clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety. Results. Support group intervention lowered anxiety over time (p < 0.001) but depression was unaffected (p == 0.610). Conclusion. This prospective randomised trial of support group intervention in a large homogenous group of breast cancer women showed a statistically significant effect on lowering anxiety over time. No statistically significant effect of intervention could be seen on depression.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Oncology, Central Hospital, Västerås, Sweden 2: 2Immune and Gene Therapy Laboratory, Cancer Center Karolinska, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden 3: 3Centre for Clinical Research, Uppsala University, Central Hospital Västerås, Sweden 4: 4Karolinska Institute, SSH Stockholm, Sweden
Publication date: February 1, 2012