A Systematic Qualitative Analysis of Psychoeducational Interventions for Depression in Patients With Cancer

Andrea M. Barsevick

Carole W. Sweeney

Eileen Haney

Esther Chung

ONF 2002, 29(1), 73-87. DOI: 10.1188/02.ONF.73-87

Purpose/Objectives: To determine whether researchbased recommendations can be made about the clinical management of depression in patients with cancer.

Data Sources: Reports of scientific studies, qualitative or quantitative systematic reviews of scientific studies, and practice guidelines published from 1980-2000.

Data Synthesis: In all, 36 pieces of evidence supported the conclusion that psychoeducational interventions benefit depressive symptoms. Evidence included two well-conducted meta-analyses and nine well-designed randomized clinical trials with large samples (N > 100). With regard to intervention content, 70% of behavior therapy studies and 66% of counseling studies drew conclusions that supported the hypothesis. In addition, 58% of studies that tested behavior therapy or counseling in combination with cancer education had positive results.

Conclusions: The evidence supports the conclusion that psychoeducational interventions reduce depressive symptoms in patients with cancer and that behavior therapy or counseling alone or in combination with cancer education is beneficial.

Implications for Nursing Practice: Nurses can select from a variety of educational, behavioral, and counseling techniques to prevent or manage depression in their patients.

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