Kwekkeboom, K. L., Abbott-Anderson, K., Cherwin, C., Roiland, R., Serlin, R. C., & Ward, S. E. (2012). Pilot randomized controlled trial of a patient-controlled cognitive-behavioral intervention for the pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance symptom cluster in cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 44, 810–822.doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.12.281
To test the effects of a psychoeducational intervention on pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance.
Patients were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the wait-list control group. The intervention consisted of a single one-on-one training session with a research nurse, which was followed by recorded guidance that provided imagery, relaxation exercises, and nature sounds. Most exercises lasted 20 minutes and were delivered via an mp3 player. The study lasted two weeks.
Patients were undergoing the active antitumor treatment phase of care.
The study used a randomized, controlled trial, pre- and postintervention design.
The intervention demonstrated a small statistically significant effect on the symptoms of pain and fatigue and the overall symptom cluster of pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance.
The intervention was a relaxation or imagery therapy rather than a true CBT. The intervention was associated with short-term statistically significant benefits, but the actual size of the effect was small. Findings suggested that approaches using relaxation and imagery may result in some small benefit for patients, but the effect was weak.