Pilot randomized controlled trial of individual meaning-centered psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer Journal Article


Authors: Breitbart, W.; Poppito, S.; Rosenfeld, B.; Vickers, A. J.; Li, Y.; Abbey, J.; Olden, M.; Pessin, H.; Lichtenthal, W.; Sjoberg, D.; Cassileth, B. R.
Article Title: Pilot randomized controlled trial of individual meaning-centered psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer
Abstract: Spiritual well-being and sense of meaning are important concerns for clinicians who care for patients with cancer. We developed Individual Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy (IMCP) to address the need for brief interventions targeting spiritual well-being and meaning for patients with advanced cancer. Patients with stage III or IV cancer (N = 120) were randomly assigned to seven sessions of either IMCP or therapeutic massage (TM). Patients were assessed before and after completing the intervention and 2 months postintervention. Primary outcome measures assessed spiritual well-being and quality of life; secondary outcomes included anxiety, depression, hopelessness, symptom burden, and symptom-related distress. Of the 120 participants randomly assigned, 78 (65%) completed the post-treatment assessment and 67 (56%) completed the 2-month follow-up. At the post-treatment assessment, IMCP participants demonstrated significantly greater improvement than the control condition for the primary outcomes of spiritual well-being (b = 0.39; P <.001, including both components of spiritual well-being (sense of meaning: b = 0.34; P = .003 and faith: b = 0.42; P = .03), and quality of life (b = 0.76; P = .013). Significantly greater improvements for IMCP patients were also observed for the secondary outcomes of symptom burden (b = -6.56; P < .001) and symptom-related distress (b = -0.47; P < .001) but not for anxiety, depression, or hopelessness. At the 2-month follow-up assessment, the improvements observed for the IMCP group were no longer significantly greater than those observed for the TM group. IMCP has clear short-term benefits for spiritual suffering and quality of life in patients with advanced cancer. Clinicians working with patients who have advanced cancer should consider IMCP as an approach to enhance quality of life and spiritual well-being.
Keywords: adult; controlled study; treatment outcome; aged; aged, 80 and over; middle aged; major clinical study; clinical trial; advanced cancer; comparative study; cancer staging; methodology; neoplasm staging; prospective study; prospective studies; neoplasm; neoplasms; linear models; quality of life; controlled clinical trial; statistics; randomized controlled trial; terminally ill patient; pathology; adaptive behavior; psychological aspect; adaptation, psychological; terminally ill; depression; disease severity; nonhodgkin lymphoma; pilot study; pilot projects; lymphoma, non-hodgkin; patient compliance; anxiety disorder; distress syndrome; multivariate analysis; anxiety; terminal care; massage; statistical model; religion; psychotherapy, group; spirituality; group therapy; anxiety disorders; depressive disorder; psychotherapy; spiritual care; personalized medicine; hopelessness; individualized medicine; individual meaning centered psychotherapy
Journal Title: Journal of Clinical Oncology
Volume: 30
Issue: 12
ISSN: 0732-183X
Publisher: American Society of Clinical Oncology  
Date Published: 2012-04-20
Start Page: 1304
End Page: 1309
Language: English
DOI: 10.1200/jco.2011.36.2517
PUBMED: 22370330
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC3646315
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Export Date: 2 July 2012" - "Source: Scopus"
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MSK Authors
  1. Yuelin Li
    138 Li
  2. William S Breitbart
    338 Breitbart
  3. Barrie R Cassileth
    189 Cassileth
  4. Shannon Rose Poppito
    12 Poppito
  5. Andrew J Vickers
    556 Vickers
  6. Daniel D. Sjoberg
    138 Sjoberg
  7. Hayley Ann Pessin
    68 Pessin