Meaning-focused coping may be at the core of adequate adjustment to life after cancer. Cancer survivors who experience their life as meaningful are better adjusted, have better quality of life and psychological functioning. Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy for Cancer Survivors (MCGP-CS) was designed to help patients to sustain or enhance a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. The aim of the proposed study is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of MCGP-CS.
Survivors diagnosed with cancer in the last 5 years and treated with curative intent, are recruited via several hospitals in the Netherlands. After screening, 168 survivors are randomly assigned to one of the three study arms: 1. Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy (MCGP-CS) 2. Supportive group psychotherapy (SGP) 3. Care as usual (CAU). Baseline assessment takes place before randomisation, with follow up assessments post-intervention and at 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up. Primary outcome is meaning making (PMP, PTGI, SPWB). Secondary outcome measures address quality of life (EORTC-30), anxiety and depression (HADS), hopelessness (BHS), optimism (LOT-R), adjustment to cancer (MAC), and costs (TIC-P, EQ-5D, PRODISQ).
Meaning-focused coping is key to adjustment to life after cancer, however, there is a lack of evidence based psychological interventions in this area. Many cancer survivors experience feelings of loneliness and alienation, and have a need for peer support, therefore a group method in particular, can be beneficial for sustaining or enhancing a sense of meaning. If this MCGP-CS is effective for cancer survivors, it can be implemented in the practice of psycho-oncology care.
Netherlands Trial Register, NTR3571