Evaluate the effectiveness of a group psychoeducational intervention in reducing the level of cancer-related fatigue in women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer: A randomized controlled trial
Mohammad Reza Sharbafchi1, Azadeh Malekian2, Zahra Ahmadzadeh3, Samaneh Torkian4, Alireza Baharizadeh5, Elham Zarean6
1 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Iranian Cancer Control Center (MACSA), Isfahan, Iran
2 Clinical Research Development Center (CRDC), Islamic Azad University, Najafabad Independent Branch, Najafabad, Iran
3 Cancer Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
4 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 College of Skill and Entrepreneurship, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran
6 Cancer Research Center and Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
Dr. Elham Zarean
Department of Psychiatry, Parastar Street, Hajar Hosp, Shahrekord
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: One of the most debilitating symptoms in breast cancer survivors is cancer-related fatigue (CRF). CRF weakens patients' physical, cognitive, and occupational functions. It is associated with poorer quality of life and may reduce recurrence-free and overall survival. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a group psychoeducational intervention in improving CRF in breast cancer patients.
Materials and Methods: Fifty breast cancer patients who suffered from CRF were randomly assigned to receive a group psychoeducational intervention or control group. This study was designed as an eight weeks clinical trial. The psychoeducational intervention mainly consisted of concentrative movement therapy and energy conservation strategies. Primary outcome measures were the changes in the Fatigue Visual Analogue scale, Cancer Fatigue scale, and Piper Fatigue scale at the study endpoint. Measure assessments were made on four occasions: at baseline, after the intervention, one week, and four weeks post intervention. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS26.
Results: The intervention improved CRF significantly (P < 0.001). All subscales of the Cancer Fatigue scale and the sensory, affective, and cognitive subscales of the Piper Fatigue scale showed statistically significant effects (P < 0.001) at all time points. However, the behavioral subscale of the Piper Fatigue scale was different only at the end of the study (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The group psychoeducational intervention improved CRF significantly. All the sensory, behavioral, physical, affective, and cognitive subscales improved. Accessible and confirmatory treatment can help patients to cope with fatigue in communities.