Group Rehabilitation for Cancer Patients: : Effects, Patient Satisfaction, Utilisation and Prediction of Rehabilitation Need

Sammanfattning: The aims are to investigate cancer patients' perceived satisfaction with a Group Rehabilitation (GR) intervention, to evaluate its effects, and to explore the extent to which the patient's coping style (monitoring, blunting) modulates the effects of the GR. An additional aim is to investigate to what extent some aspects of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) [Physical Functioning (PF), Emotional Functioning (EF) and Global Quality of Life (QoL)] one year after diagnosis can be predicted on the basis of medical, socio-demographic and psychological data collected att diagnosis. Patients (n=481) newly diagnosed with breast, gastrointestinal or prostate cancer, were randomly assigned (Support-Care-Rehabilitation project) to one of four alternatives: 1. “Individual Support” (IS) starting at diagnosis; 2. “Group Rehabilitation” (GR) starting approximately four months later; 3. A combination of IS and GR; or 4. Standard Care (SC). All patients were monitored for two years. The GR comprised eight weekly sessions and one booster session after two months. The 2.5 hour meetings dealt with information about cancer, treatment, nutrition, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), light physical training and relaxation. Patients rated the physical and informative components as somewhat more beneficial than the CBT component. Meeting others was also rated as beneficial. However, there were limited effects on quality of life and anxiety. The monitoring concept was useful for distinguishing a subgroup of cancer patients (prostate cancer monitors) who benefited from the GR programme. Regression analyses demonstrated that the presence of advanced disease at diagnosis predicted a reduced physical function one year later. Having one or more comorbid conditions predicted lower PF and QoL, EF was predicted only by lower mental well-being and being classified as a case on the basis of the HADS. Indications for offering rehabilitative programs to cancer patients are critically discussed.