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Psychosocial Phone Counseling Aids Cervical Cancer Survivors

Improvements in depression; lasting improvement in gynecologic and cancer-specific concerns

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A psychosocial telephone counseling (PTC) intervention can be beneficial for cervical cancer survivors, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lari Wenzel, Ph.D., from the University of California at Irvine, and colleagues examined the effect of a PTC intervention on quality of life (QOL) in 204 survivors of cervical cancer who were at least nine and less than 30 months from diagnosis. Participants (mean age, 43 years; 40 percent Hispanic, 51 percent non-Hispanic white) were randomized to PTC, which included five weekly sessions and a one-month booster, or usual care (UC).

The researchers found that, compared with UC participants, those receiving PTC had significantly improved depression and improved gynecologic and cancer-specific concerns at four months (all P < 0.05), after adjustment for age and baseline scores. The significant differences in gynecologic and cancer-specific concerns persisted at nine months (P < 0.05). The longitudinal change in overall QOL and anxiety was not statistically significant. Significantly greater improvement in QOL was seen for those with decreasing interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13, compared to those with increasing cytokine levels.

“This trial confirms that PTC benefits mood and QOL cancer-specific and gynecologic concerns for a multiethnic underserved population of survivors of cancer,” the authors write.

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