Psycho-educational interventions for melanoma survivors: a systematic review

Psychooncology. 2013 Jul;22(7):1444-56. doi: 10.1002/pon.3165. Epub 2012 Aug 30.


Objective: To systematically review psycho-educational interventions developed for melanoma survivors.

Methods: Electronic databases Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL were systematically searched using key words and subject headings for articles describing educational or psychological interventions designed specifically for people affected by melanoma.

Results: Twenty-seven articles, generated by 16 unique interventions, were included for detailed review. Overall, educational interventions showed increased patient satisfaction with clinical care and information provision, as well as increased frequency of skin self-examination, although accuracy and thoroughness of skin examination were seldom reported. Participation in psychological interventions was associated with decreases in anxiety, health-related distress, and melanoma recurrence rates, as well as positive changes in coping with illness. Programs, when implemented as part of routine clinical care, were found to be cost-effective.

Conclusions: Interventions in this field vary widely, limiting the identification of 'active ingredients' for psychological or behavioral change. Future intervention studies should ensure sufficient information is provided to support program replication and comprehensive assessment of program outcomes.

Keywords: cancer; intervention; melanoma; oncology; psycho-education; review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Melanoma / psychology*
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Survivors / psychology*