Cancer Support Group Can Lessen Depression, Pain
[12/13/2001; Reuters Health]
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -
Joining a support group may not prolong
the lives of women with breast cancer but it can help relieve
their depression and anxiety, according to the results of a study. The
findings contradict the results of a previous report, which found
that a type of therapy known as supportive-expressive group therapy
added more than a year to the lives of women whose breast cancer
had spread to other parts of the body, or metastasized.
type of therapy, which is offered to people who are diagnosed
with a life-threatening illness, participants are encouraged
to talk about their disease and its effects on all aspects of
their lives. The current report did not find that therapy sessions
were associated with a survival benefit for women with breast
``Supportive-expressive group therapy does not prolong
survival in women with metastatic breast cancer,'' conclude Dr.
Pamela J. Goodwin from the University of Toronto in Ontario,
Canada, and colleagues. ``It improves mood and the perception
of pain, particularly in women who are initially more distressed.''
study included 158 women with metastatic breast cancer who participated
in weekly group therapy sessions lasting 90 minutes each. These
sessions included no more than 12 women and encouraged members
to express their feelings about cancer and its physical, emotional,
social and spiritual effects on their lives. Each session ended
with self-hypnosis or relaxation.
Seventy-seven women in another
group did not receive psychological therapy as part of the study
but were invited to take part in support groups for people with
cancer. All women answered written questions about their mood,
level of pain and other factors after 4, 8 and 12 months. According
to the results, published in the December 13th issue of The New
England Journal of Medicine, women in both groups survived
an average of 18 months.
Women who took part in group therapy
sessions reported less pain and greater improvement in
psychological symptoms such as anger, depression and distress.
In fact, women who were the most distressed before therapy began
benefited the most from the sessions.
|Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.|
This site is like an Encyclopedia - there are many pages, many links on many topics.
Support our work with any size DONATION - see left side of any page - for how to donate. You can help raise awareness of CAM.