Teaching head and neck cancer patients coping strategies: results of a feasibility study.

Oral oncology

PubMedID: 15006628

Allison PJ, Nicolau B, Edgar L, Archer J, Black M, Hier M. Teaching head and neck cancer patients coping strategies: results of a feasibility study. Oral Oncol. 2004;40(5):538-44.
To test the feasibility of providing a psycho-educational intervention for people with head and neck (H&N) cancer. A prospective non-randomized design was used. Subjects were patients with H&N cancer. They were offered the Nucare coping strategies program in one of three formats: small group and one-to-one formats with therapists; and a home format, with material for home use, without a therapist. Outcomes measures (quality of life (QOL) and anxiety and depression) were collected at baseline and following the intervention. Analyses were performed using non-parametric statistics. Of 128 people invited to participate, 66 agreed, 59 completed the intervention and 50 had outcomes data. Following the intervention, there were significant improvements in physical and social functioning and global QOL, and reduced fatigue, sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms. These data suggest that the intervention may have some beneficial effects, although an appropriately designed study is required to confirm this.