Factors affecting participation in group intervention in patients after adjuvant treatment for early-study breast cancer

Yaira Hamama-Raz*, Shlomit Perry, Ruthy Pat-Horenczyk, Ruth Bar-Levav, Solomon M. Stemmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and purpose. According to studies of patients with cancer, support groups can help in three areas: 1) improve mood; 2) introduce new, adaptive ways of handling potentially difficult situations; and 3) impart strategies for managing stress. Nevertheless, the decrease in the quality of life of cancer patients or survivors does not always translate into their utilization of available psychosocial services. The aim of the current study was to explore the factors affecting the decision of patients with breast cancer to participate in group intervention based on an enhancing-resilience approach. Methods. One hundred eighty-nine patients who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer at a tertiary hospital and had completed adjuvant therapy at least three months previously were asked to enroll in the study with or without group intervention. One hundred and one (53.4%) completed the battery of psychological questionnaires, of whom 56 agreed to participate in the intervention. Sociodemographic and medical data were collected for all 189 subjects from the medical files. Results. No significant differences in sociodemographic or medical data were found between intervention-group participants (N = 56) and non-participants (N = 133). Group participants reported significantly higher levels of psychological pathology. Subjects who completed the questionnaires but did not participate in the intervention reported significantly higher levels of positive cognitive emotion regulation and flexibility than participants. Conclusion. Low participation in group interventions may be more strongly associated with psychological characteristics than sociodemographic and medical factors. It seems that patients know to perceive whether their personal resources are inadequate for facing a life-threatening illness. Like individual therapy, group interventions should be more sensitive to perceived individual needs and to the art of tailoring suitable contents according individual needs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


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