Exploring the effectiveness of crisis counselling and psycho-education in relation to improving mental wellbeing, quality of life and treatment com...

Date 22 October 2018
Event ESMO 2018 Congress
Session Poster display session: Breast cancer - early stage, locally advanced & metastatic, CNS tumours, Developmental therapeutics, Genitourinary tumours - prostate & non-prostate, Palliative care, Psycho-oncology, Public health policy, Sarcoma, Supportive care
Topics Breast Cancer
Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer
Presenter Reem Alsulaiman
Citation Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_8): viii557-viii561. 10.1093/annonc/mdy296
Authors R. Alsulaiman1, S. Bujassoum1, A. Bener2, L. Doodson3, S. Ghuloum4, A. Lemaux1, H. Bugrein1, R. Alasaam1, A. Karim5
  • 1Medical Oncology, National Center for Cancer Care and Research, 3050 - Doha/QA
  • 2Department Of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics, Istanbul University, 0220 - Istanbul/TR
  • 3Psychology And Counseling Studies, Regent's college, NW1 4NS - London/GB
  • 4Department Of Psychiatry, Hamad General Hospital, 3050 - Doha/QA
  • 5Psychology, National Center for Cancer Care and Research, 3050 - Doha/QA



Insufficient number of studies have been carried out in the Middle East to evaluate the role of structured psychotherapeutic interventions in breast cancer patients. This study has been designed to explore the benefit of two structured interventions ‘crisis counselling’ and ‘psycho-education’ in enhancing breast cancer patient’s psychological well-being, quality of life and treatment compliance in Qatar.


A total of 201 women with early stage breast cancer from Qatar were recruited and randomised into either the control group or one of the treatment groups (crisis counseling or psycho-education). Each of the two treatment interventions consisted of a total of six 60-90 minute sessions, which were provided over a period of 12 weeks. The short- and long-term benefits of the crisis counselling and psycho-education interventions were evaluated in terms of improving patients’ psychological well-being, quality of life and treatment compliance through DASS21 and QLQ-C30 instruments and by monitoring their compliance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.


This study revealed that both of the study interventions ‘crisis counseling’ and ‘psycho-education’ were effective in improving women’s psychological well-being and quality of life over time in comparison to the control group but had no significant impact on patients’ compliance with treatment. In addition, the study showed that psycho-education conferred a greater advantage than did the crisis counselling model, especially on improving women’s psychological well-being over time.


This study is considered the first of its kind in Qatar to provide evidence on the benefit of crisis counseling and psycho-education interventions in improving the psychological wellbeing and quality of women with early-stage breast cancer. In addition, this study has provided an innovative research that can be used as evidence to propose changes to the psychotherapy services for breast cancer patients in Qatar and which will hopefully lead to a better healthcare system for other cancer patients in the country.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Hamd Medical Corporation.


Hamd Medical Corporation.

Editorial Acknowledgement


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.