The psychosocial intervention for mental anguish such as anxiety and depression in cancer patients has been variously examined in Japan. However, effective interventions for cancer patients with recurrence have not been provided. Thus, we conducted a randomized controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of reminiscence therapy in cancer patients with recurrence. In this study, we also attempted to identify factors that might influence the effects of the therapy.
The subjects were 30 cancer patients with recurrence, who received individual reminiscence programs using themes established each time for about 60 minutes each, 8 times in all. All of the subjects were assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) both before the intervention (baseline) and immediately after the intervention. We conducted a comparison of the groups showing and not showing improvement in the total score of POMS (total mood disturbance: TMD) by the t-test or Chi-squared-test to determine the relationships between the patient background factors and baseline scores on the POMS. SPSS ver.22 was used for the statistical analysis. This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Hiroshima University.
Immediately after the interventions, improvement was observed in the scores for all of the items. The scores for depression (p = 0.015), fatigue (p = 0.007), TMD (p = 0.027) on the POMS before the intervention were significantly related to the TMD score after the intervention, suggesting the impact of each of these items on the effects of the intervention. The score for tension-anxiety (p = 0.060) also showed a tendency towards influencing the effects of the intervention, although the effect was not significant.
We found significant relationships between the effects of the intervention and the baseline scores for depression, fatigue and TMD; the score for tension-anxiety also appeared to have some influence. In other words, patients in a worse emotional state at the baseline showed a greater tendency towards improvement. These results suggest that there may be no basis for selecting subjects for reminiscence therapy based on background factors such as the age or sex.
Clinical trial identification
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.