A randomized study of a rehabilitation program for cancer patients: The ‘starting again’ group

Authors

  • Gunilla Berglund,

    Corresponding author
    1. Psychologist, Psychosocial Unit, Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, S-104 01 Stockholm, Sweden
    • Psychologist, Psychosocial Unit, Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, S-104 01 Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Christina Bolund,

    1. Psychiatrist, Psychosocial Unit, Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Ulla-Lena Gustafsson,

    1. Research Nurse, Psychosocial Unit, Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Per-Olow Sjödén

    1. Psychologist and Professor, Centre for Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Glunten, S-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden
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Abstract

This study compares, in a prospective randomized design, a rehabilitation ‘Starting again’ program for cancer patients (n = 98) and a control condition (n = 101). Assessments were carried out pre- and post-intervention and at a 3 months follow-up. The program consisted of 11 structured, two-hour sessions run for a period of seven weeks by an oncology nurse specialist assisted by experts in various fields. The contents focused on physical training, information and coping skills training. Patients in the ‘Starting again’ condition improved significantly more than controls with respect to physical training, physical strength, body avoidance, appraisal of having received sufficient information, fighting spirit and frequency of sleeping problems. Results indicate improvement with respect to the three areas focused on in the ‘Starting again’ program: physical training, information and coping skills training.

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