Effects of a Psychoeducational Intervention in Patients With Breast Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy

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Abstract

Background:

Compelling evidence has yet to be published regarding the positive effect of psychoeducational interventions (PEIs) on psychological distress in patients with breast cancer. The impact of PEIs on self-efficacy, resilience, and quality of life is also unclear.

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a PEI on anxiety, depression, disease-specific care knowledge, self-efficacy, resilience and quality of life in patients with breast cancer during and after chemotherapy. The intervention was administered before and during five rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

Methods:

A randomized controlled trial was conducted. Patients with breast cancer (N = 40) were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group participated in PEI, a brief and highly structured program consisting of two parts: (a) an educational manual that addressed depression, anxiety, disease-specific care knowledge, self-efficacy, and resilience and (b) a self-assessment of learning. The control group received only traditional pamphlet education. Data were collected at four time points: before the first chemotherapy session (T1), during the third chemotherapy session (T2), during the fifth chemotherapy session (T3), and at 2 weeks after the final chemotherapy session (T4).

Results:

Anxiety, depression, resilience, and quality of life in the experimental group showed significant differences at T4. Significant differences became apparent at T2 for knowledge and at T3 for self-efficacy. The effects of knowledge, resilience, and quality of life remained significant when group and time interactions were included in the model, showing a positive relationship between PEI and the variables of knowledge, resilience, and quality of life.

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

Face-to-face PEI for patients with breast cancer is potentially effective in improving knowledge, resilience, and quality of life during and after chemotherapy. In the current study, PEI significantly improved disease care techniques, reduced chemotherapy-related discomfort, and improved quality of life for participants in the experimental group.

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