Effect of Psychosocial Intervention in Women Following Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Final rept. 15 Jul 96-14 Jan 99
ROCHESTER UNIV NY
Pagination or Media Count:
The present study examined the effects of a presurgical psychosocial intervention for breast cancer patients on immune function. Forty-nine patients were randomly assigned to either a control standard care or an intervention group standard care plus psychosocial intervention. The two-session intervention included 1 relaxation techniques 2 problem-solving and crisis management 3 psychosocial support and 4 health education. Natural killer NK cell cytotoxicity and interferon-gamma IFN-gamma production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells were examined at three time points. While NK cell cytotoxicity did not reliably vary as a function of time or treatment group, a significant interaction Treatment X Time was noted for IFN-gamma F 5.81 p .01. Closer examination revealed that IFN-gamma levels declined significantly in controls over the course of the study, while intervention group IFN-gamma levels actually increased. Mirroring the IFN-gamma results, psychological assessment indicated that the intervention had a positive emotional impact on patients. Despite a number of methodological and interpretational difficulties, the present findings suggest that a brief, presurgical intervention may successfully enhance IFN-gamma a critical cytokine for cell-mediated immune responses production in breast cancer patients.
- Medicine and Medical Research