|Grant Number:||5R01CA111832-05 Interpret this number|
|Primary Investigator:||Monti, Daniel|
|Organization:||Thomas Jefferson University|
|Project Title:||Mbat a Novel Psychosocial Cancer Intervention|
Cancer patients frequently report high levels of distress and unmet psychosocial needs, both of which can contribute to negative health outcomes. Addressing this problem with psychosocial group interventions has had documented success in several cancer populations. The proposed study is designed to test the efficacy of a recently developed, innovative, multi-modal group program for cancer patients, and to compare it to a standard cancer support group. The intervention, mindfulness-based art therapy (MBAT), was developed with the specific purpose of enhancing both the supportive and expressive aspects of the typically available group treatment. This study is intended to build upon the very encouraging results of a recently completed clinical trial (N=111) that demonstrated highly significant improvements in symptoms of psychological distress and quality of life in a heterogeneous group of cancer patients who received the MBAT intervention, as compared to a similar group who received no intervention. In the proposed study, 339 women will be enrolled (226 with breast cancer and 113 with other cancer diagnoses). The breast cancer patients will be randomized to either the MBAT experimental arm or a standardized breast cancer support group. The women with other cancer diagnoses will be consecutively assigned to the MBAT group. Groups will be compared on measures of psychological distress (SCL-90-R) and key aspects of health-related quality of life (SF-36, general health and mental health subscales). In addition, for the MBAT group, comparisons on these measures will be made between breast and non-breast cancer patients . Secondarily, we will consider treatment effects on autonomic nervous system and immune system functioning, fatigue, and traumatic stress, and examine the role of social support and personality factors. This study is a crucial step towards testing efficacy and assessing for potential advantages of MBAT over a standard support group format. Our long-range goal is to find innovative means of improving the psychosocial health of cancer survivors.