Cancer is a psychologically traumatic experience for affected individuals. Chemotherpautic medications can also be painful to the same patients. Researchers at Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy conducted a psycho-educational study on early stage breast cancer patients. The main objective of the study was to help women to cope with the physical emotional, and lifestyle changes after the diagnosis of breast cancer by evaluating the effect of group action on the participating women. A total of 97 women, participated in the study and were grouped into in 13 psycho-educational groups. All the groups consisted of female patients suffering from breast cancer with no recurrence or metastasis.
All the patients were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Body Image Scale (BIS). No significant effect on anxiety and body image was found by the researchers. They, however, noted a statistical difference between the results of the HADS depression test at T0 (first evaluation) and T1 (second evaluation) intervals.
Participants reported that the psycho-educational group study was an important intervention for their life. The researchers also mention that it is difficult to measure the outcomes in of psychosocial studies as many variables come into play in psychological evaluation. Each patient was characterized by different types of problems (physical, relational, as well as psychological) which may have a complex interaction with each other.