Rottmann, N., Dalton, S.O., Bidstrup, P.E., Wurtzen, H., Hoybye, M.T., Ross, L., . . . Johansen, C. (2012). No improvement in distress and quality of life following psychosocial cancer rehabilitation. A randomised trial. Psycho-Oncology, 21, 505–514.doi: 10.1002/pon.1924
To evaluate the effectiveness of a residential rehabilitation course for patients with cancer in decreasing psychological distress
Patients who had completed cancer treatment were randomly assigned to receive either usual care or a six-day residential psychosocial course. Those in the residential group had weekly rehabilitation courses in groups of 20. Course activities included education, supportive talks, physical activity, relaxation, massage, social activities, peer discussions, and dietary instruction. At the end of the course, individuals created a personal action plan to reinforce what was learned. Data were collected at baseline and at 1, 6, and 12 months after completion of the intervention.
Transition phase of care after initial treatment
Randomized controlled trial
At one-month time point, findings revealed significantly more improvement in anxiety (p = 0.03), total mood disturbance (p = 0.04), emotional role function (p = 0.02), and cognitive functioning (p = 0.0009) in the control group. At the six-month time point, a significantly improved outcome for the control group was also found for depression (p = 0.005) as well as sustained improvement in anxiety (p = 0.003), total mood disturbance (p = 0.02), emotional role function (p = 0.04), and cognitive functioning (p = 0.03).
The residential rehabilitation course studied did not have a positive effect on anxiety, depression, or cognitive functioning. In this study, the control group improved more over time than those who received the intervention.
This study suggests that an intensive residential program for cancer survivors, as examined, was of no benefit.