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Am J Clin Oncol. 1983 Jun;6(3):347-53.

Behavior of cancer patients: a randomized study of the effects of education and peer support groups.


Two prospective, controlled studies were conducted to determine if psychological and social functioning could be enhanced in patients with Hodgkin's disease by either education or participation in a peer support therapy group. Eighty-one patients were evaluated with the Cancer Patient Behavior Scale prior to and following intervention. Following education, patients experienced significant improvement in the frequency of Anxiety, Treatment Problems, Depression, and Life Disruption (p less than or equal to 0.1) compared to a control group. Following participation in peer support groups, patients showed no improvement in any of 10 areas of life functioning. Thus education represents an effective, efficient, and inexpensive means of improving psychological and social behavior in patients with Hodgkin's disease. Participation in this peer support therapy group did not result in significant behavior change.

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