Original Article

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 459-464

Difference in patient's acceptance of early versus late initiation of psychosocial support in breast cancer

  • Christine ScholtenAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine II, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, 1090 Vienna
  • , Georg WeinländerAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, 1090 Vienna
  • , Michael KrainerAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, 1090 Vienna
  • , Oskar FrischenschlagerAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Psychology, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, 1090 Vienna
  • , Christoph C. ZielinskiAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, 1090 Vienna

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Abstract

The present study was performed to assess the difference in acceptance of psychosocial counseling and resulting benefits between patients with breast cancer with early or late onset. In a prospective randomized controlled study conducted over 6 months, 41 women with a new diagnosis of early breast cancer (group 1) and 43 patients with advanced breast cancer (group 2) received individually tailored psychosocial support and were compared against controls. This therapy was free of charge, and the duration of support was determined by the patients' wishes and needs. Among the patients with new onset of disease acceptance of the psychosocial counseling was high, and these patients experienced significant improvements in their quality of life. In contrast, acceptance of psychosocial counseling was low in the advanced breast cancer group and the therapy did not improve quality of life over the observation period of 6 months. Early psychosocial support in patients with breast cancer meets with a high acceptance rate and improves quality of life.

Breast cancer Psychosocial counseling Quality of life