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Pre-surgical stress management boosts immune function, lowers mood disturbance in prostate cancer patients
Date:1/28/2011

ferent levels of intervention

In the study, 159 men with early-stage prostate cancer who were scheduled for radical prostatectomy were randomized into three groups.

  • Stress management (SM) group participants:
    • Met twice with a psychologist one to two weeks before surgery to discuss concerns and learned some cognitive techniques
    • Learned deep breathing and guided-imagery techniques to help cope with the possible effects of surgery
    • Were led through mental imagery to help prepare for surgery and hospitalization
    • Received a stress management guide that expanded on sessions and audiotapes of techniques to practice on their own
    • Had brief booster sessions with the psychologist on the morning of the surgery
    • Had a brief session 48 hours after surgery to reinforce relaxation and coping strategies
  • Supportive attention (SA) group participants:
    • Met twice with a psychologist one to two weeks before surgery. Sessions were supportive and included a semi-structured psychosocial and medical history in an interview format
    • Were provided empathy and an encouraging environment in which to discuss concerns
    • Had brief booster sessions the morning of surgery
    • Had a brief session 48 hours after surgery to discuss their experiences leading up to the surgery and during their hospital stay
  • Standard Care (SC) received routine medical care and had no meetings with psychologists

Blood samples were collected from each patient about a month before surgery and 48 hours after surgery. Patient mood was measured about a month before surgery, a week before surgery (after the interventions) and the morning of the surgery.

Results show intervention benefits

Two days after surgery, the men in the SM group had:

  • Significantly higher levels of natural killer function and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines than men in the SA group
  • Higher levels of natu
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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