Project - Group psychological support intervention for patients after breast cancer treatment
Group psychological support intervention for patients after breast cancer treatment
How to better regulate the emotions and their impact on everyday life after treatment: a study evaluating the impact of a group psychological support intervention for patients in remission.
The period when active treatment (i.e. surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) of cancer ends is associated with the physical and psychological impacts of the cancer diagnosis and corresponding treatments. At present, scientific literature indicates that emotional dysregulation is, with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, one of the three main complaints of women in remission from breast cancer. Anxiety, fear of recurrence and symptoms of depression are frequently present. These often become extreme and can lead to detrimental consequences in patients. Consideration of an intervention to help patients regulate their emotions therefore appears of paramount importance. To this end, we have created, through a controlled randomized trial, a group intervention of eight sessions combining cognitive-behavioural therapy with hypnosis. The primary objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of this multi-component group intervention in terms of the emotional regulation and well-being of women in remission from breast cancer. The second objective is to evaluate participant satisfaction with the proposed intervention, their psychological adjustment, the practice of hypnosis on an everyday basis, and changes in attentional functions, physical activity and sleep. In this controlled randomized trial context, the participants (N=12) are distributed randomly in an experimental group (N=6) or in a waiting-list control group (N=6). The experimental group receives the multi-component group intervention initially. The control group receives this same intervention four months later. Since the multi-component group intervention is part of a research initiative, the participants are all evaluated at three distinct times: 1) at baseline (T1), 2) four months after T1, in other words directly after the multi-component group intervention for the experimental group, and just before the multi-component group intervention for the control group, and 3) eight months after T1, in other words four months after the multi-component group intervention for the experimental group, and just after the multi-component group intervention for the control group. Each evaluation time comprises three sections: an emotional regulation task, an ecological evaluation and an attentional task. The emotional regulation task - through completion of questionnaires, performance of relaxation exercises and recording of heart rate - provides a dynamic picture of the participants’ emotional regulation capacities. The ecological assessment focuses on the emotional experience of participants in their everyday lives through the sending of notifications and the wearing of a watch measuring their physical and psychological activity. Lastly, the objective of the attentional task is to measure the impact of anxiety associated with the illness on participants’ level of attention.