Factors associated with attrition from a randomized controlled trial of meaning-centered group psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA. . Psycho-Oncology
(Impact Factor: 2.44).
11/2012; 21(11). DOI: 10.1002/pon.2013
The generalizability of palliative care intervention research is often limited by high rates of study attrition. This study examined factors associated with attrition from a randomized controlled trial comparing meaning-centered group psychotherapy (MCGP), an intervention designed to help advanced cancer patients sustain or enhance their sense of meaning to the supportive group psychotherapy (SGP), a standardized support group.
Patients with advanced solid tumor cancers (n = 153) were randomized to eight sessions of either the MCGP or SGP. They completed assessments of psychosocial, spiritual, and physical well-being pretreatment, midtreatment, and 2 months post-treatment. Attrition was assessed in terms of the percent of participants who failed to complete these assessments, and demographic, psychiatric, medical, and study-related correlates of attrition were examined for the participants in each of these categories.
The rates of attrition at these time points were 28.1%, 17.7%, and 11.1%, respectively; 43.1% of the participants (66 of 153) completed the entire study. The most common reason for dropout was patients feeling too ill. Attrition rates did not vary significantly between study arms. The participants who dropped out pretreatment reported less financial concerns than post-treatment dropouts, and the participants who dropped out of the study midtreatment had poorer physical health than treatment completers. There were no other significant associations between attrition and any demographic, medical, psychiatric, or study-related variables.
These findings highlight the challenge of maintaining advanced cancer patients in longitudinal research and suggest the need to consider alternative approaches (e.g., telemedicine) for patients who might benefit from group interventions but are too ill to travel. Copyright
Available from: Rüdiger Zwerenz
- "We are aware, however, that a substantial proportion of patients would refuse study participation feeling strongly burdened by ongoing treatment. Based on non-responder analyses we intend to answer the question, which patients do not accept psychotherapeutic treatment for what reason
. Including the important dimensions of therapeutic alliance and personality dimensions shaping the experience and expression of depression we also ascertain who benefits most from treatment. "
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There is a lack of psychotherapeutic trials of treatments of comorbid depression in cancer patients. Our study determines the efficacy of a manualized short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and predictors of outcome by personality and quality of the therapeutic relationship.
Eligible breast cancer patients with comorbid depression are assigned to short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (up to 20 + 5 sessions) or to treatment as usual (augmented by recommendation for counseling center and physician information). We plan to recruit a total of 180 patients (90 per arm) in two centers. Assessments are conducted pretreatment, after 6 (treatment termination) and 12 months (follow-up). The primary outcome measures are reduction of the depression score in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and remission of depression as assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV Disorders by independent, blinded assessors at treatment termination. Secondary outcomes refer to quality of life.
We investigate the efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in acute care and we aim to identify predictors for acceptance and success of treatment.
Available from: Raymond N DuBois
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ABSTRACT: Responding to growing concerns regarding the safety, quality, and efficacy of cancer care in the United States, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences commissioned a comprehensive review of cancer care delivery in the US health care system in the late 1990s. The National Cancer Policy Board (NCPB), a 20-member board with broad representation, performed this review. In its review, the NCPB focused on the state of cancer care delivery at that time, its shortcomings, and ways to measure and improve the quality of cancer care. The NCPB described an ideal cancer care system in which patients would have equitable access to coordinated, guideline-based care and novel therapies throughout the course of their disease. In 1999, the IOM published the results of this review in its influential report, Ensuring Quality Cancer Care. The report outlined 10 recommendations, which, when implemented, would: 1) improve the quality of cancer care, 2) increase the current understanding of quality cancer care, and 3) reduce or eliminate access barriers to quality cancer care. Despite the fervor generated by this report, there are lingering doubts regarding the safety and quality of cancer care in the United States today. Increased awareness of medical errors and barriers to quality care, coupled with escalating health care costs, has prompted national efforts to reform the health care system. These efforts by health care providers and policymakers should bridge the gap between the ideal state described in Ensuring Quality Cancer Care and the current state of cancer care in the United States.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: A strong therapeutic alliance has been found to predict psychotherapeutic treatment success across a variety of therapeutic modalities and patient populations. However, only a few studies have examined therapeutic alliance as a predictor of psychotherapy outcome among cancer survivors, and none have examined this relation in telephone-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy (T-CBT). This study evaluated the extent to which therapeutic alliance affected psychotherapy outcomes in survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), a treatment for some cancers. Method: Forty-six patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of T-CBT for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) completed a baseline assessment (including self-report measures of PTSD symptoms, depression, and general distress), 10 individual T-CBT sessions, and follow-up assessments at 6, 9, and 12 months post-baseline. Therapeutic alliance was assessed after the 3rd T-CBT session with the Working Alliance Inventory, which yields overall and subscale (task, bond, and goal) scores. Results: Analyses revealed that higher total therapeutic alliance scores prospectively predicted decreased depressive symptomatology; higher task scores predicted decreased overall distress, depressive symptomatology, symptoms of re-experiencing, and avoidance; and higher bond scores predicted decreased depressive symptomatology and symptoms of re-experiencing. Conclusions: These results suggest that assessments of therapeutic alliance should be incorporated into routine clinical care, and therapeutic alliance should be specifically cultivated in interventions to maximize psychotherapeutic benefits involving vulnerable populations such as cancer survivors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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