Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Group Sessions Help Breast Ca Patients, Partners. (Separate Intervention Needed for PTSD)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Group Sessions Help Breast Ca Patients, Partners. (Separate Intervention Needed for PTSD)

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE -- Women with metastatic breast cancer and their partners benefit from regular group psychotherapy sessions that emphasize emotional processing.

But mental health professionals need to devise a separate strategy for helping women deal with the spike in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that occurs in the days immediately preceding death, Lisa Butler, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Dr. Butler reported data from a randomized controlled trial of 125 women with metastatic breast cancer.

The study has been ongoing for 13 years, and 101 of the original 125 participants have died.

The women were randomized to either group psychotherapy and education or education alone. The women were assessed using several psychiatric measures four times during the first year of their participation.

In subsequent years, the women were assessed every 6 months.

On baseline testing, 34% of the women scored in the high range on symptoms of intrusion and 28% had scores that indicated high levels of avoidance symptoms.

The time since the recurrence of their breast cancer was negatively associated with their avoidance and intrusion symptoms, according to Dr. Butler, who is a senior research scholar in the department of psychiatry at Stanford (Calif.) University.

The study found that social support was negatively associated with the symptoms of avoidance only.

The combination of significant life events and aversive emotional support was positively associated with both intrusion and avoidance symptoms, she said.

These trauma symptoms seem to be treatable, Dr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.