Stress Management After Breast Cancer Surgery Has Lasting Benefit

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Cognitive-behavioral stress management delivered after breast cancer surgery is associated with long-term psychological benefits.
Cognitive-behavioral stress management delivered after breast cancer surgery is associated with long-term psychological benefits.

For women with early-stage breast cancer, cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) delivered after surgery is associated with long-term psychological benefits, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Noting that group-based CBSM delivered after surgery for early-stage breast cancer correlated with improved quality of life (QOL) over a 12-month follow-up and fewer depressive symptoms over five years, Jamie M. Stagl, from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted an eight- to 15-year follow-up.

Women with stage 0 to IIIb breast cancer were recruited after breast surgery and randomized to 10 weeks of CBSM or a one-day psychoeducational control. One hundred women (51 CBSM patients and 49 controls) were contacted again at eight to 15 years after study enrollment.

The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates, participants in the CBSM group reported significantly lower depressive symptoms (d, 0.63) and better QOL (d, 0.58).

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"Women who received CBSM after surgery for early-stage breast cancer reported lower depressive symptoms and better QOL than the control group up to 15 years later," the authors write.

"Early implementation of cognitive-behavioral interventions may influence long-term psychosocial functioning in breast cancer survivors."

One author disclosed receiving royalties from a book and related training material he had authored on CBSM treatments in health psychology.

Reference

  1. Stagl, Jamie M., MS, et al. "Long-term psychological benefits of cognitive-behavioral stress management for women with breast cancer: 11-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial." Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29076. [epub ahead of print]. March 23, 2015.

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