Beating the blues after Cancer: randomised controlled trial of a tele-based psychological intervention for high distress patients and carers
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Background: The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is a major life stress such that approximately 35% of patients experience persistent clinically significant distress and carers often experience even higher distress than patients. This paper presents the design of a two arm randomised controlled trial with patients and carers who have elevated psychological distress comparing minimal contact self management vs. an individualised tele-based cognitive behavioural intervention. Methods/design: 140 patients and 140 carers per condition (560 participants in total) will been recruited after being identified as high distress through caller screening at two community-based cancer helplines and randomised to 1) a single 30-minute telephone support and education session with a nurse counsellor with self management materials 2) a tele-based psychologist delivered five session individualised cognitive behavioural intervention. Session components will include stress reduction, problem-solving, cognitive challenging and enhancing relationship support and will be delivered weekly. Participants will be assessed at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 months after recruitment. Outcome measures include: anxiety and depression, cancer specific distress, unmet psychological supportive care needs, positive adjustment, overall Quality of life. Discussion: The study will provide recommendations about the efficacy and potential economic value of minimal contact self management vs. tele-based psychologist delivered cognitive behavioural intervention to facilitate better psychosocial adjustment and mental health for people with cancer and their carers.
© 2009 Chambers et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)