Ramachandra, P., Booth, S., Pieters, T., Vrotsou, K., & Huppert, F.A. (2009). A brief self-administered psychological intervention to improve well-being in patients with cancer: Results from a feasibility study. Psycho-Oncology, 18, 1323–1326.doi: 10.1002/pon.1516
To test the feasibility of a brief self-administered psychological intervention to improve well-being in patients with cancer
The intervention consisted of patient diary and CD meditation for home use with brief telephone support. Patients were requested to record three positive experiences each day in the diary and to plan one enjoyable activity each week and record in the diary. A recorded mindfulness “body scan” (meditation approach) 10 minutes in length was provided to each patient, and he or she was instructed to use this twice a day. Brief telephone contact was made in weeks 1, 2, and 4 to answer questions and encourage continued home practice.
Patients were undergoing the transition phase of care after initial treatment.
A randomized controlled trial design was used.
The drop-out rate was almost 50% at the six-week point. Quality of life showed significant improvement at the six-week point (p = 0.046). No other significant differences were identified.
Compliance rates of patients remaining in the study suggest that the approaches used here were easy enough to use and acceptable to them; however, the extremely high drop-out rate suggests that the actual feasibility of this approach for any length of time is questionable.
This study involved multiple follow-up periods and several self-report questionnaires. The burden of this activity may have contributed to the high drop-out rate.