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A Longitudinal Study of Emotional Distress and the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Women with Breast Cancer

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Annual summary rept. 1 Sep 2001-31 Aug 2002

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The study purpose is to examine the extent to which levels of depression and anxiety and coping at three-five months post-diagnosis are related to complementary and alternative medicine CAM use at initial assessment and follow-up at 9 and 15 months. This study will also identify the types of CAM sought after by women with higher levels of anxiety and depression. Additional aims of the study are to provide pilot data for further research in developing interventions such as mood regulation skills, coping skills training or treatment information to meet the emotional needs and healthcare expectations of breast cancer patients. Three broad categories of tasks were performed on the project in the past year, culminating in the passage of the trainees dissertation proposal, passage through three IRBs for human subjects approval and the beginning of data collection. An extensive literature review was conducted leading to two theoretical models upon which to design the study, set hypotheses and guide analysis of data. In addition, all study materials have been prepared, relationships with key breast cancer surgeons in community have been established, and the first participant has been recruited and surveyed. The next step in the project will be to focus on recruitment and data collection.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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