A Self-Administered Stress Management Intervention for Hispanic Patients Undergoing Cancer Chemotherapy

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This study evaluated whether a self-administered stress management training (SSMT) could improve quality of life (QOL) and reduce distress among Hispanics receiving chemotherapy across multiple community clinical settings. Participants were randomized to receive SSMT (n = 106) or usual care (UCO) (n = 113). The primary outcome—QOL (SF-36) and secondary outcomes depression (CES-D), and anxiety (STAI) were assessed longitudinally over four chemotherapy cycles. Acculturation (BAS) and patients’ intervention adherence were assessed. About 63% of participants reported distress after the initial chemotherapy cycle. Hispanics with lower acculturation reported greater STAI-Trait scores (p =.003). No significant treatment effects on outcomes measures were observed for participants receiving SSMT. SSMT intervention techniques were reported useful and improved mental health scores were observed with patients on a psychotropic agent (p =.04). Hispanics experience an elevated level of distress, yet SSMT did not significantly improve primary outcomes. SSMT may be potentially effective when combined with a psychotropic agent. SSMT enhancing strategies are discussed.

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