Psychosocial benefits of a cancer support group

Cancer. 1986 Jan 1;57(1):183-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19860101)57:1<183::aid-cncr2820570135>;2-3.


Many clinicians use group support to reduce the psychosocial difficulties of persons with cancer. This study compared the long-term benefits of a thematic counseling model used both as a structure for group support and for counseling patients individually. The thematic model included eight counseling sessions focused on information about cancer and positive health strategies such as progressive relaxation, diet, and exercise. The psychosocial status of women newly diagnosed with gynecologic cancer was assessed before the counseling, immediately after counseling, and again 6 months later. The women who participated in thematic counseling were significantly less depressed and less anxious and had more knowledge of their illness, better relationships with care givers, fewer sexual difficulties, and more participation in leisure activities. Data confirmed the model to be equally helpful whether it was used as a structure for individual counseling or more cost-effective group counseling. This model is easily adaptable to the needs of persons with other forms of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*