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Cognitive behavioral or relaxation training helps women reduce distress during breast cancer treatment
Date:5/16/2014

Coral Gables, Fla. (May 16, 2014) Can psychological intervention help women adapt to the stresses of breast cancer? It appears that a brief, five-week psychological intervention can have beneficial effects for women who are dealing with the stresses of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. Intervening during this early period after surgery may reduce women's distress and providing cognitive or relaxation skills for stress management to help them adapt to treatment.

Researchers at the University of Miami recruited 183 breast cancer patients from surgical oncology clinics in the Miami area in the weeks following surgery and prior to adjuvant treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and anti-hormonal therapy).

Women were randomized to one of three five-week groups: Cognitive Behavioral Training (e.g., changing thoughts about stressors and learning interpersonal skills), Relaxation Training (e.g., muscle relaxation and deep breathing), or a Health Education control group. At randomization and after women completed the 5-week group, researchers measured distress and life disruption, including mood, distress caused by breast cancer, disruption in social activities, and emotional well-being.

"We know from prior work at the University of Miami that a 10-week group combining cognitive behavioral and relaxation training improves quality of life for women in the early phases of breast cancer treatment. Since 10 weeks may be too long of a time commitment for most breast cancer patients, we wanted to test whether separate 5-week group versions of either cognitive behavioral training or relaxation training could have beneficial effects."

Researchers found that women who received the Cognitive Behavioral or Relaxation Training reported greater improvements in mood than women in the time-matched Health Education control group. Compared to the control group, women in the Cognitive Behavioral group also reported reduced breast cancer-spe
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Contact: Annette Gallagher
a.gallagher1@umiami.edu
305-284-1121
University of Miami
Source:Eurekalert

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