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Review: psychosocial interventions have a modest impact on improving quality of life in adult cancer patients

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 Q In adults with cancer, are adjuvant psychosocial interventions more effective than control interventions for improving quality of life?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★☆☆☆ Oncology ★★★★☆☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline, CINAHL, AMED, CANCERLIT, PSYNDEX PLUS, PsycLIT, and SERLINE; reference lists of retrieved articles; and informal inquiries.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

English or German language studies were selected if they used psychosocial interventions with ⩾1 control group (routine medical and caring therapy without any additional psychosocial intervention) and were published between 1970 and July 1999. Overall methodological quality of the studies was estimated as low or high (< or ⩾ average number of fulfilled validity criteria, respectively).

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

quality of life (QOL) (assessed by various instruments).


37 studies with 3120 patients (average age 54.1 y) met the selection criteria. 16% of the studies included patient education programmes (medical or procedural …

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  • For correspondence: Dr R Pukrop, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

  • Source of funding: not stated.