BAC KGROUND: Radiation therapy (RT ) has become one of the most widely-used and efficient treatments for cancer;nevertheless, people who undergo radiotherapy suffer the physical and psychological consequences of this stressfultreatment, in addition to the psychosocial distress related to cancer. However, a Radiotherapy Unit is often a place whereseveral patients crowd in from various hospitals with restricted timetables and, for logistic reasons, it is not easy to provideregular psychological sessions for each one. It is important to find a setting that allows us the involvement of thelargest number of patients referred to the unit. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility and the effect of a briefintervention of cognitive-oriented diary on the quality of life, anxiety and depressive symptoms of patients undergoingradiotherapy (RT ), compared to a control group.METH ODS: The sample was constituted of 68 experimental subjects and 78 controls, treated with RT . Both groups wereassessed with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS -20), the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scale (HA DS) and theEORTC -QLQ at the beginning and at the end of their RT . Experimental subjects were instructed to report emotions andthoughts before attending the RT sessions in a thought diary.RES ULTS : The experimental group showed a good adherence to the diary, a reduction in mean scores of anxiety(P<0.001), depression (P<0.001), and alexithymia (P<0.001) together with an ameliorative effect on quality of life(P<0.014), compared to control group.CONCLUSI ONS: We observed a reduction in alexithymia scores in the experimental group, together with a significantreduction in anxiety and depression symptoms and an improvement in quality of life, with a moderator role of socialdisparity in treatment adherence. Our outcomes suggest the opportunity to consider the diary an affordable and effectivedevice for psychologists operating in RT units, able to be extended to the majority of patients, in a simple and replicablesetting.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health