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Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jan;27(1):165-173. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4308-9. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

The impact of an expressive writing intervention on quality of life among Chinese breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Author information

1
Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA. qlu@mdanderson.org.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA. qlu@mdanderson.org.
3
School of Nursing, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
4
Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.
5
Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
6
Breast Cancer Unit, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China.
7
School of Nursing, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. huyan@fudan.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Expressive writing interventions are shown to confer physical and psychological benefits for Caucasian cancer survivors. This study evaluated the health benefits of an expressive writing intervention among breast cancer patients in mainland China.

METHODS:

Stage I-III Chinese breast cancer survivors undergoing chemotherapy were recruited in Shanghai, China. They (n = 90) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a positive thinking group (PTC) to write about the positive aspects of their cancer experience; a self-regulation condition (SRC) to write about their stress and coping efforts, deepest feelings, and positive aspects of their cancer experience; or a cancer-fact group (CFC) to write about facts relevant to their cancer experience. All groups wrote for 30 min every week for 4 weeks. Quality of life (QOL) was assessed using the FACT-B at baseline and 1- and 2-month follow-ups. Linear mixed effects models were used to test the hypotheses that the SRC and PTC would improve QOL compared to the CFC.

RESULTS:

QOL improved overtime in the whole sample. Contrary to hypotheses, the CFC had increased QOL compared with the SRC from baseline to both the 1- and 2-month follow-ups (ΔQOL = 9.31, p = 0.01, d = 0.44; ΔQOL = 9.45, p = 0.025, d = 0.49). The PTC did not differ from cancer-fact writing but had increased QOL compared with the SRC from baseline to both the 1- and 2-month follow-ups (ΔQOL = 7.44, p = 0.04, d = 0.35; ΔQOL = 11.72, p = 0.06, d = 0.61).

CONCLUSION:

Interventions through expressive writing about positive experience and cancer facts are feasible and can benefit Chinese cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

KEYWORDS:

Chinese breast cancer patients; Expressive writing; Positive thinking; Quality of life; Self-regulation

PMID:
29915994
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-018-4308-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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