Ashing, K., & Rosales, M. (2014). A telephonic-based trial to reduce depressive symptoms among Latina breast cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 23(5), 507–515.doi: 10.1002/pon.3441
Test the effectiveness of a paraprofessionally delivered, telephonic-based, psycho-educational intervention (telephone sessions plus survivorship booklet) to reduce depressive symptoms compared with the control condition (survivorship booklet only)
Intervention was based on the contextual model of health-related quality of life and the cognitive behavioral framework. Participants allocated to the intervention condition received eight 40–50-minute, biweekly, psychoeducational telephone services. Telephonic sessions involved seven domains: basic breast cancer information; managing medical and physical issues, follow-up care, and cancer resources; coping skills and problem-solving training; balancing emotions and stress management; family and social concerns; sexual health concerns; and financial issues and employment concerns. A booster and debriefing session took place one month after completion of telephone sessions.
PHASE OF CARE: Late effects and survivorship
Randomized, controlled trial
Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD) to assess depressive symptoms in addition to demographic and clinical characteristics
A statistically significant decrease in depressive symptoms was seen among Latina patients with breast cancer in the intervention condition compared with Latina patients with breast cancer in the control condition, after controlling for depressive symptoms at T1 and language (p < 0.05). English-language-preferred and Spanish-language-preferred Latina patients with breast cancer in the intervention condition showed an eight-point decrease in depressive symptoms from baseline to follow-up, whereas those in the control condition showed no significant change.
These findings support the success of psycho-educational telephonic intervention in significantly reducing depressive symptoms among Latina patients with breast cancer, regardless of language. This is a great way to address distress among the ethnically diverse population of patients with cancer.
This study represents a novel psycho-educational trial implemented by paraprofessionals. This could be a cost effective approach that would improve distress symptoms in a minority population with cancer. With proper training, nurses and social workers may implement this intervention, which will contribute to better patient outcomes.