BCa: online CBT helps reduce treatment-induced menopausal symptoms

  • Atema V & al.
  • J Clin Oncol
  • 14 Feb 2019

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • A randomized controlled trial finds that Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) has clinically significant benefits on the perceived effect and frequency of hot flushes (HF)/night sweats (NS), overall levels of menopausal symptoms, and sleep quality for breast cancer (BCa) survivors.

Why this matters

  • iCBT is a more flexible, convenient, and less costly alternative to office-based CBT.
  • Treatment-induced menopausal symptoms affect up to 85% of BCa survivors.

Study design

  • Randomized controlled trial of 254 women allocated to 6-week iCBT (guided by a therapist or self-managed) vs wait-list control.
  • Questionnaires included the primary outcome Hot Flush Rating Scale (HFRS), the Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment-Endocrine Symptoms (FACT-ES), and the Groningen Sleep Quality Scale.
  • Significance set at P<.01 an effect size of was deemed small moderate clinically significant and large.>
  • Funding: Dutch Cancer Society; other.

Key results

  • At 24 weeks, the guided and self-managed iCBT groups (vs control) reported decreases in the perceived effect of HF/NS (via HFRS problem-rating subscale; ES, 0.63 and 0.56, respectively; both P<.001 and improvement in sleep quality both p>
  • The guided group (vs control) displayed improvement in overall levels of menopausal symptoms (via FACT-ES; ES, 0.33; P=.003), NS frequency (ES, 0.64; P<.001>

Limitation

  • No face-to-face comparison with standard CBT.

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