Psychological Interventions for Cancer:

67 Recent Publications

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Psychological Interventions for People with Cancer:

Therapy & Self-Help

67 Recent (2013-2016) Articles

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP

I've gathered together articles focused on psychological interventions for people with cancer. It includes recent (2013-2016) studies and discussions of individual and group therapy for cancer survivors, peer counseling, self-help, and other approaches. These resources are meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health care professional.

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PLEASE NOTE: This web site includes 8 other pages of related sets of resources:


Arch, J. J., & Mitchell, J. L. (2016). An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group intervention for cancer survivors experiencing anxiety at re-entry. Psycho-Oncology, 25(5), 610-615. doi: 10.1002/pon.3890

Archer, S., Buxton, S., & Sheffield, D. (2014). The effect of creative psychological interventions on psychological outcomes for adult cancer patients: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Psycho-Oncology. Advance online publication.

Ashing, K., & Rosales, M. (2014). A telephonic-based trial to reduce depressive symptoms among Latina breast cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 23(5), 507-515.

Badr, H., & Krebs, P. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions for couples coping with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 22(8), 1688-170

Brandao, T., Schulz, M. S., & Matos, P. M. (2014). Psychological intervention with couples coping with breast cancer: A systematic review. Psychology & Health, 29(5), 491-516.

Brebach, R., Sharpe, L., Costa, D. S. J., Rhodes, P., & Butow, P. (2016). Psychological intervention targeting distress for cancer patients: A meta-analytic study investigating uptake and adherence. Psycho-Oncology, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1002/pon.4099

Brier, M. J., Schwartz, L. A., & Kazak, A. E. (2014). Psychosocial, Health-Promotion, and Neurocognitive Interventions for Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Systematic Review. Health Psychology. Advance online publication.

Casellas-Grau, A., Font, A., & Vives, J. (2014). Positive psychology interventions in breast cancer. A systematic review. Psycho-Oncology, 23(1), 9-19.

Cerezo, M. V., Ortiz-Tallo, M., Cardenal, V., & de la Torre-Luque, A. (2014). Positive psychology group intervention for breast cancer patients: A randomised trial. Psychological Reports, 115(1), 44-64.

Cernvall, M., Carlbring, P., Ljungman, L., Ljungman, G., & von Essen, L. (2015). Internet-based guided self-help for parents of children on cancer treatment: A randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 24(9), 1152-1158. doi: 10.1002/pon.3788

Chilcot, J., Norton, S., & Hunter, M. S. (2014). Cognitive behaviour therapy for menopausal symptoms following breast cancer treatment: Who benefits and how does it work? Maturitas, 78(1), 56-61.

Chiu, Y.-C., & Hsieh, Y.-L. (2013). Communication online with fellow cancer patients: Writing to be remembered, gain strength, and find survivors.Journal of Health Psychology, 18(12), 1572-1581.

Chock, M. M., Lapid, M. I., Atherton, P. J., Kung, S., Sloan, J. A., Richardson, J. W., Rummans, M. M. (2013). Impact of a structured multidisciplinary intervention on quality of life of older adults with advanced cancer. International Psychogeriatrics, 25(12), 2077-2086.

Clinton-McHarg, T., Paul, C., Boyes, A., Rose, S., Vallentine, P., & O'Brien, L. (2014). Do cancer helplines deliver benefits to people affected by cancer? A systematic review. Patient Education and Counseling. Advance online publication.

Damholdt, M. F., Mehlsen, M., O'Toole, M. S., Andreasen, R. K., Pedersen, A. D., & Zachariae, R. (2016). Web-based cognitive training for breast cancer survivors with cognitive complaints—a randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1002/pon.4058

Dieng, M., Cust, A. E., Kasparian, N. A., Mann, G. J., & Morton, R. L. (2016). Economic evaluations of psychosocial interventions in cancer: A systematic review. Psycho-Oncology,published online in advance of print publication.

Domínguez, M., & Sapiña, L. (2016). "others like me". An approach to the use of the internet and social networks in adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer. Journal of Cancer Education,published online in advance of print publication.

Ducloux, D., Guisado, H., & Pautex, S. (2013). Promoting sleep for hospitalized patients with advanced cancer with relaxation therapy: Experience of a randomized study . American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 30(6), 536-540.

Fleming, L., Randell, K., Harvey, C.J., & Espie, C. A. (2014). Does cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia reduce clinical levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression in cancer patients? Psycho-Oncology, 23(6), 679-684.

Freeman, L. W., White, R., Ratcliff, C. G., Sutton, S., Stewart, M., Palmer, J. L., Cohen, L. (2014). A randomized trial comparing live and telemedicine deliveries of an imagerybased behavioral intervention for breast cancer survivors: Reducing symptoms and barriers to care. Psycho-Oncology. Advance online publication.

Garland, S. N., Johnson, J. A., Savard, J., Gehrman, P., Perlis, M., Carlson, L., & Campbell, T. (2014). Sleeping well with cancer: A systematic review of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in cancer patients. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 10, Article ID 1113-1124.

Goode, A. D., Lawler, S. P., Brakenridge, C. L., Reeves, M. M., & Eakin, E. G. E. (2015). Telephone, print, and Web-based interventions for physical activity, diet, and weight control among cancer survivors: A systematic review. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 9(4), 660-682. doi: 10.1007/s11764-015-0442-2

Greer, J. A., MacDonald, J. J., Vaughn, J., Viscosi, E., Traeger, L., McDonnell, T., et al. (2015). Pilot study of a brief behavioral intervention for dyspnea in patients with advanced lung cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 50(6), 854-860. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.06.010

Hall, S., Goddard, C., Martin, P., Opio, D., & Speck, P. (2013). Exploring the impact of dignity therapy on distressed patients with advanced cancer: Three case studies. Psycho-Oncology, 22(8), 1748-1752.

Hamilton, J. B., Galbraith, K. V., Best, N. C., Worthy, V. C., & Moore, L. T. C. A. D. (2014). African-american cancer survivors' use of religious beliefs to positively influence the utilization of cancer care. Journal of Religion and Health. Advance online publication.

Han, J. Y., Hou, J., Kim, E., & Gustafson, D. H. (2014). Lurking as an active participation process: A longitudinal investigation of engagement with an online cancer support group. Health Communication, 29(9), 911-923.

Hanson, L. C., Armstrong, T. D., Green, M. A., Hayes, M., Peacock, S., Elliot-Bynum, S., Earp, J. A. (2013). Circles of care: Development and initial evaluation of a peer support model for African Americans with advanced cancer. Health Education & Behavior, 40(5), 536-543.

Henoch, I., Danielson, E., Strang, S., Browall, M., & Melin-Johansson, C. (2013). Training intervention for health care staff in the provision of existential support to patients with cancer: A randomized, controlled study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 46(6), 785-794.

Hines, S., Ramis, M.A., Pike, S., & Chang, A. M. (2014). The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for cognitive dysfunction in cancer patients who have received chemotherapy: A systematic review. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 11(3), 187-193.

Hopko, D. R., Cannity, K., McIndoo, C. C., File, A. A., Ryba, M. M., Clark, C. G., & Bell, J. L. (2014). Behavior Therapy for Depressed Breast Cancer Patients: Predictors of Treatment Outcome. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication.

Hopko, D. R., Funderburk, J. S., Shorey, R. C., McIndoo, C. C., Ryba, M. M., File, A. A., & Vitulano, M. (2013). Behavioral activation and problem-solving therapy for depressed breast cancer patients: Preliminary support for decreased suicidal ideation. Behavior Modification, 37(6), 747-767.

Houmann, L. J., Chochinov, H. M., Kristjanson, L. J., Petersen, M. A., & Groenvold, M. (2014). A prospective evaluation of dignity therapy in advanced cancer patients admitted to palliative care. Palliative Medicine, 28(5), 448-458.

Johns, S. A., Brown, L. F., BeckCoon, K., Monahan, P. O., Tong, Y., & Kroenke, K. (2014). Randomized controlled pilot study of mindfulnessbased stress reduction for persistently fatigued cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology. Advance online publication.

Johnson, J. A., Rash, J. A., Campbell, T. S., Savard, J., Gehrman, P. R., Perlis, M., et al. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in cancer survivors. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 27, 20-28. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2015.07.001

Jones, P., Blunda, M., Biegel, G., Carlson, L. E., Biel, M., & Wiener, L. (2013). Can mindfulness-based interventions help adolescents with cancer?Psycho-Oncology, 22(9), 2148-2151.

Kangas, M., Milross, C., & Bryant, R. A. (2014). A brief, early cognitive-behavioral program for cancer-related ptsd, anxiety, and comorbid depression. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. Advance online publication.

Krenz, S., Godel, C., Stagno, D., Stiefel, F., & Ludwig, G. (2014). Psychodynamic interventions in cancer care II: A qualitative analysis of the therapists' reports. Psycho-Oncology, 23(1), 75-80.

L'Estrange, K., Timulak, L., Kinsella, L., & D'Alton, P. (2016). Experiences of changes in self-compassion following mindfulness-based intervention with a cancer population. Mindfulness, 7(3), 734-744. doi: 10.1007/s12671-016-0513-0

Lengacher, C. A., Reich, R. R., Paterson, C. L., Jim, H. S., Ramesar, S., Alinat, C. B., Kip, K. E. (2014). The effects of mindfulnessbased stress reduction on objective and subjective sleep parameters in women with breast cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology. Advance online publication.

Li, Q., & Loke, A. Y. (2014). A systematic review of spousal couplebased intervention studies for couples coping with cancer: Direction for the development of interventions. Psycho-Oncology, 23(7), 731-739.

Ludwig, G., Krenz, S., Zdrojewski, C., Bot, M., Rousselle, I., Stagno, D., & Stiefel, F. (2014). Psychodynamic interventions in cancer care I: Psychometric results of a randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 23(1), 65-74.

Malboeuf-Hurtubise, C., Achille, M., Muise, L., Beauregard-Lacroix, R., Vadnais, M., & Lacourse, É. (2015). A mindfulness-based meditation pilot study: Lessons learned on acceptability and feasibility in adolescents with cancer. Journal of Child and Family Studies, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1007/s10826-015-0299-z

Manne, S. L., Siegel, S. D., Heckman, C. J., & Kashy, D. A. (2016). A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Supportive Versus a Skill-Based Couple-Focused Group Intervention for Breast Cancer Patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000110

McGowan, E. L., North, S., & Courneya, K. S. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of a behavior change intervention to increase physical activity and quality of life in prostate cancer survivors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 46(3), 382-393.

McMahon, M. E., Gremore, T. M., Cella, D., & Sher, T. G. (2014). Partners empowered: A couplebased intervention for newly diagnosed cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 23(7), 832-834.

Merz, E. L., Fox, R. S., & Malcarne, V. L. (2014). Expressive writing interventions in cancer patients: A systematic review. Health Psychology Review, 8(3), 339-361.

Moulton, A., Balbierz, A., Eisenman, S., Neustein, E., Walther, V., & Epstein, I. (2013). Woman to woman: A peer to peer support program for women with gynecologic cancer. Social Work in Health Care, 52(10), 913-929.

Oh, P. J., Shin, S. R., Ahn, H. S., & Kim, H. J. (2016). Meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions on survival time in patients with cancer. Psychology & Health, 31(4), 396-419. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2015.1111370

Patel, S. K., Ross, P., Cuevas, M., Turk, A., Kim, H., Lo, T. T. Y., Bhatia, S. (2014). Parent-directed intervention for children with cancer-related neurobehavioral late effects: A randomized pilot study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39(9), 1013-1027.

Porter, L. S., Keefe, F. J., Baucom, D. H., Olsen, M., Zafar, S. Y., & Uronis, H. (2016). A randomized pilot trial of a videoconference couples communication intervention for advanced gi cancer. Psycho-Oncology,published online in advance of print publication.

Ryba, M. M., Lejuez, C. W., & Hopko, D. R. (2014). Behavioral Activation for Depressed Breast Cancer Patients: The Impact of Therapeutic Compliance and Quantity of Activities Completed on Symptom Reduction. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication

Sharpe, M., Walker, J., Hansen, C. H., Martin, P., Symeonides, S., Gourley, C., SMaRT (Symptom Management Research Trials) Oncology-2 Team. (2014). Integrated collaborative care for comorbid major depression in patients with cancer (SMaRT Oncology-2): A multicentre randomised controlled effectiveness trial. The Lancet, 384(9948), 1099-1108

Short, C. E., James, E. L., & Plotnikoff, R. C. (2013). How Social Cognitive Theory can help oncology-based health professionals promote physical activity among breast cancer survivors. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 17(4), 482-489

Song, Y., Oh, M., Park, S., Park, M., Kim, K., Lee, U., et al. (2015). The methodological quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the effectiveness of non-pharmacological cancer pain management. Pain Management Nursing, 16(5), 781-791. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2015.06.004

Spencer, J. C., & Wheeler, S. B. (2016). A systematic review of motivational interviewing interventions in cancer patients and survivors. Patient Education and Counseling,published online in advance of print publication.

Spiegel, D. (2014). Minding the body: Psychotherapy and cancer survival. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19(3), 465-485.

Stagl, J. M., Antoni, M. H., Lechner, S. C., Bouchard, L. C., Blomberg, B. B., Glueck, S., Carver, C. S. (2014). Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management in Breast Cancer: A Brief Report of Effects on 5-Year Depressive Symptoms. Health Psychology. Advance online publication.

Tao, W.W., Jiang, P., Liu, Y., Aungsuroch, Y., & Tao, X.M. (2014). Psychooncologic interventions to reduce distress in cancer patients: A metaanalysis of controlled clinical studies published in people's republic of china. Psycho-Oncology. Advance online publication

Vega, B. R., Perez, C. B., Tarrero, A. P., & Liria, A. F. (2014). Mindfulnessbased narrative therapy for depression in cancer patients. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 21(5), 411-419

Vega, B. R., Perez, C. B., Tarrero, A. P., & Liria, A. F. (2014). Mindfulnessbased narrative therapy for depression in cancer patients. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 21(5), 411-419

Vermeer, W. M., Bakker, R. M., Kenter, G. G., Kroon, C. D., Stiggelbout, A. M., & Kuile, M. M. (2014). Sexual issues among cervical cancer survivors: How can we help women seek help? Psycho-Oncology. Advance online publication.

Willems, R. A., Bolman, C. A. W., Mesters, I., Kanera, I. M., Beaulen, A. A. J. M., & Lechner, L. (2016). Short-term effectiveness of a web-based tailored intervention for cancer survivors on quality of life, anxiety, depression, and fatigue: Randomized controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1002/pon.4113

Wu, H.-X., Zhong, H., Xu, Y.-D., Xu, C.-P., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, W. (2016). Psychological and behavioral intervention improves the quality of life and mental health of patients suffering from differentiated thyroid cancer treated with postoperative radioactive iodine-131. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12.

Yanez, B., Bustillo, N. E., Antoni, M. H., Lechner, S. C., Dahn, J., Kava, B., & Penedo, F. J. (2014). The importance of perceived stress management skills for patients with prostate cancer in active surveillance. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Advance online publication

Zernicke, K. A., Campbell, T. S., Speca, M., McCabe-Ruff, K., Flowers, S., & Carlson, L. E. (2014). A randomized wait-list controlled trial of feasibility and efficacy of an online mindfulness-based cancer recovery program: The eTherapy for cancer applying mindfulness trial. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76(4), 257-267.

Zhang, M., Chan, S. W.-c., You, L., Wen, Y., Peng, L., Liu, W., & Zheng, M. (2014). The effectiveness of a self-efficacy-enhancing intervention for Chinese patients with colorectal cancer: A randomized controlled trial with 6-month follow up. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51(8), 1083-1092s.

Zhou, E. S., Partridge, A. H., & Recklitis, C. J. (2016). A pilot trial of brief group cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia in an adult cancer survivorship program. Psycho-Oncology, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1002/pon.4096


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