, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2381-2386
Date: 07 Apr 2013

Impact of a psycho-oncological rehabilitation intervention on psychological distress: the experience of CeRiOn (Oncological Rehabilitation Centre) Florence 2007–2010

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Abstract

Background

Combining medical and psychological knowledge and accompanying patients in an individualised path, the Oncological Rehabilitation Centre of Florence (CeRiOn) aims at offering effective integrated rehabilitation interventions and at reducing psychological distress in cancer patients. In the present observational study, we measured the psychological distress at baseline and at the end of the completed rehabilitation processes.

Methods

A total number of 627 cancer patients were treated by the psycho-oncological service at CeRiOn in 2007–2010. Among them, 99 (all women) participated in more than or equal to three sessions, were followed up for clinical and life status for at least 1 year and had a formal conclusion of their psychological rehabilitation process. For 98 cases, both a baseline and a follow-up measure of distress, by the Psychological Distress Inventory (PDI) and the Distress Thermometer (DT), were available.

Results

Relevant before–after amelioration in this selected group of psychologically, highly suffering cancer patients has been shown. Almost all the patients (except 20 %) received both group and individual psychological support. The average rehabilitation process lasted 1.7 years. Average distress evaluation decreased from a baseline of 34.7 to 26.4 (P < 0.001) according to PDI and from 5.9 to 2.2 according to DT (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

On average, quite a long psychological support time was necessary to complete the rehabilitation process. During this period, patients who had a formal conclusion of the psychological support received at CeRiOn showed a significant reduction of their distress.