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A preliminary open trial of individualised cognitive behavioural therapy for young survivors of cancer during adolescence: initial findings and conceptualisation of distress
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare.
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Abstract [en]

Objective: A subgroup of adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors of cancer in adolescence report high levels of psychological distress. Empirically-supported treatments tailored to the concerns experienced by this population are lacking. The aims of this study were to (1) conduct a preliminary evaluation of an individualised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) intervention for adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors of cancer during adolescence and (2) identify and conceptualise cancer-related psychological concerns using cognitive-behavioural theory.

Methods: A single-arm trial in which ten AYA (17-25 years) survivors of cancer during adolescence were offered up to 15 sessions of individualised CBT guided by behavioural case formulations was undertaken. Clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and three months follow-up. Before commencing treatment, two individual qualitative interviews were conducted with each participant. Analysis of cancer-related concerns was guided by qualitative framework analysis and theoretical thematic analysis, and cognitive-behavioural theory was used to inform identification of themes.

Results: Ten of 201 potential participants invited to participate were included resulting in an overall participation rate of 5%. Nine participants completed treatment and eight completed the follow-up assessment. The majority of concerns reported were cancer-related and conceptualised as social avoidance, fear and avoidance of emotions and bodily symptoms, low mood and unbalance in activity, and worry and rumination.

Conclusions: Given significant difficulties with recruitment, further research is needed to examine barriers and the impact of mental health literacy and stigma on help seeking in the AYA cancer survivor population. Internet-administered CBT self-help tailored towards the main presenting concerns of AYA cancer survivors may be a promising solution.

Keyword [en]
Adolescence, Cancer, Cognitive behaviour therapy, Psychological treatment
Keyword [sv]
Tonår, Cancer, Kognitiv beteendeterapi, Psykologisk behandling
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-330126OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-330126DiVA: diva2:1153584
Funder
U‐Care: Better Psychosocial Care at Lower Cost? Evidence-based assessment and Psychosocial Care via Internet, a Swedish ExampleSwedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, 2016-0004, 2013-0039
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2017-10-31
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