Cognitive behavioral therapy can have salutary effects on menopausal symptoms among patients with breast cancer experiencing treatment-induced menopause

Purpose

The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), physical exercise (PE), and of these two interventions combined (CBT/PE) on menopausal symptoms (primary outcome), body image, sexual functioning, psychological well-being, and health-related quality of life (secondary outcomes) in patients with breast cancer experiencing treatmentinduced menopause. Patients and Methods Patients with breast cancer reporting treatment-induced menopausal symptoms (N  422) were randomly assigned to CBT (n  109), PE (n  104), CBT/PE (n  106), or to a waiting list control group (n  103). Self-report questionnaires were completed at baseline, 12 weeks, and 6 months. Multilevel procedures were used to compare the intervention groups with the control group over time. Results Compared with the control group, the intervention groups had a significant decrease in levels of endocrine symptoms (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Endocrine Symptoms; P .001; effect size, 0.31-0.52) and urinary symptoms (Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Questionnaire; P  .002; effect size, 0.29-0.33), and they showed an improvement in physical functioning (36-Item Short Form Health Survey physical functioning subscale; P  .002; effect size, 0.37-0.46). The groups that included CBT also showed a significant decrease in the perceived burden of hot flashes and night sweats (problem rating scale of the Hot Flush Rating Scale; P .001; effect size, 0.39-0.56) and an increase in sexual activity (Sexual Activity Questionnaire habit subscale; P  .027; effect size, 0.65). Most of these effects were observed at both the 12-week and 6-month follow-ups. Conclusion CBT and PE can have salutary effects on endocrine symptoms and, to a lesser degree, on sexuality and physical functioning of patients with breast cancer experiencing treatment-induced menopause. Future work is needed to improve the design and the planning of these interventions to improve program adherence.

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2018-02-03T21:32:36+00:00January 28th, 2016|Cancer, Psychology|0 Comments

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