Center for Research and Development in Health Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León, México
Background. Cancer is a chronic disease that significantly affects the quality of life of patients who suffer from it, because they must face stressful situations, including their diagnosis, surgical procedures, and the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Objective. To evaluate the effects of hypnotherapy on breast cancer patients’ quality of life during chemotherapy.
Design. A quasi-experimental design was used with a convenience sample. Method. Two groups of patients with early breast cancer diagnoses were assigned to either a control group that received standard medical care (n = 20), or a hypnotherapy group (n = 20) that received 12 intensive sessions over the course of 1 month, and 12 additional sessions over the course of 6 months. The patients’ quality of life was evaluated using the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30).
Results. The hypnotherapy group showed a statistically significant improvement and a large effect size on the cognitive functioning and social functioning scales compared to the control group. The physical functioning, role functioning, and quality of life scales showed improvement with a medium effect size, but the changes were not statistically significant.
Conclusion. The improvement observed in the cognitive functioning and social functioning scales allows us to suggest that hypnotherapy improves the quality of life of breast cancer patients during chemotherapy.
Keywords: hypnotherapy, quality of life, breast cancer, cognitive functioning and social functioning
Background: Cancer incidence and mortality in young Latin American women has increased over the last few decades. In Mexico, breast self-examination (BSE) is recommended from 20 years of age to create awareness of breast cancer and detect body changes. The health belief model (HBM) allows us to identify young women’s beliefs about cancer and BSE, which could help us to design more appropriate strategies to promote BSE in the fight against breast cancer.
Objective: To assess the knowledge, practice, and beliefs about cancer and BSE in female college students; examine the differences between those who practice BSE and those who do not; and determine the most influential variable for performing BSE.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional design was used; the Health Belief Model scale for BSE was applied to 949 female college students from a public university.
Results: Major health study field suffered benign breast disease and having a family history of breast cancer was associated with BSE performance; also the dimensions of the health beliefs model such as barriers, benefits, self-efficacy and health motivation were different between women who perform an BSE in. The predicting variables for BSE practice were self-efficacy, the barriers perceived, benign breast disease, and the major subject of study.
Conclusion: Reports of BSE practice in female students from Latin American countries are similar; however, the predictive variables differ from those found in the general population. Perceived barriers and self-efficacy are factors capable of modification, and must be addressed by BSE promotion strategies aimed at female college students.
Keywords: breast self-examination (BSE); breast cancer; cancer education; health belief model (HBM); college student health
Background. The need to evaluate the emotional changes women experience during the diagnostic stage of breast cancer creates the need for easily applicable short screening tools; thus, evaluations which rely on a single question and visual analogical scales are widely used in hospital environments.
Objective. This study aimed to determine the optimal cut-off points for anxiety, depression, and stress emotional thermometers measured against the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety and depression sub-scales (HADS-A and HADS-D), and the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale-14, respectively; in addition, the study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of these changes in women scheduled for breast biopsies.
Design. The study included 221 women who were scheduled for breast biopsies; their agesranged between28 and80 years old. They were individually evaluated using the Emotional Thermometers, the HADS-A, theHADS-D, and the PSS-14 before undergoingtheir biopsies. Data from 203 participants were analyzed.
Results. The following optimal cut-off points were obtained: 3 for the anxiety emotional thermometer (ET) (sensitivity 0.71, specificity 0.25); 3 for the depression ET (sensitivity 0.87, specificity 0.34); and 4 for the stress ET(sensitivity 0.80, specificity 0.43). According to these cut-off points, 56% of the patients exhibited anxiety, 40% exhibited depression, and 55% exhibited stress.
Conclusion. Using emotional thermometers to screen anxiety, depression, and stress is therefore recommended in the context of breast biopsies.
Keywords: emotional thermometer; breast biopsy; anxiety; depression; stress
Background. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) represent 1% of all gastrointestinal tumors and are included in the list of rare diseases.
Objective. 1. to evaluate levels of psychological distress, fatigue, and quality of life. 2. To identify the variables that most influence distress among Mexican patients with GIST.
Design. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a consecutive sample of 100 patients with GIST, who completed the following questionnaires online: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) as a measure of distress, Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), and Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ C30).
Results. Distress was present in 31% of patients. No association was found between distress and sociodemographic/clinical variables. The patients with distress demonstrated higher scores in all fatigue dimensions and, regarding quality of life, had more symptoms and were lower functioning. Distress was positively associated with all fatigue dimensions and with QLQ C30 symptoms. Negative associations were found between distress and QLQ C30 functioning dimensions. The predictors of psychological distress were general fatigue, reduced motivation, and emotional functioning.
Conclusion. The percentage of patients with distress was akin to the levels found in patients with the most common types of cancer. Fatigue in patients with GIST should be evaluated and managed to improve distress levels.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)/ distress/ fatigue / quality of life/ cancer