Support for the efficacy of behavioural activation in treating anxiety in breast cancer patients

Derek R. Hopko, Carl W. Lejuez, Marlena M. Ryba, Rebecca L. Shorter, John Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective Anxiety disorders are commonly experienced by breast cancer patients and are associated with decreased quality of life, significant deterioration in recreational and physical activities, sleep problems, and increased pain and fatigue. Behavioural activation (BA) is an empirically validated treatment for depression but is much less often studied in the treatment of anxiety symptomology. Considering that depression and anxiety disorders frequently coexist in breast cancer patients and given highly overlapping symptom patterns, it is reasonable to postulate that BA might help attenuate anxiety symptoms. Method Addressing this issue as a follow-up to three recently completed clinical trials, the efficacy of BA for treating anxiety in breast cancer patients was examined (n = 71). Results Based on a reliable change index, 41% of patients experienced clinically significant anxiety reductions, with these breast cancer patients more likely to have severe anxiety and depression at pre-treatment. Item analyses indicated that BA is generally effective in reducing most symptoms of anxiety, including somatic and cognitive manifestations. Conclusions BA may represent a parsimonious and practical treatment that may reduce anxiety symptoms in breast cancer patients. Study limitations and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Psychologist
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

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Anxiety
Breast Neoplasms
Depression
Anxiety Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Therapeutics
Fatigue
Sleep
Quality of Life
Clinical Trials
Exercise
Pain

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Support for the efficacy of behavioural activation in treating anxiety in breast cancer patients. / Hopko, Derek R.; Lejuez, Carl W.; Ryba, Marlena M.; Shorter, Rebecca L.; Bell, John.

In: Clinical Psychologist, Vol. 20, No. 1, 01.03.2016, p. 17-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hopko, Derek R. ; Lejuez, Carl W. ; Ryba, Marlena M. ; Shorter, Rebecca L. ; Bell, John. / Support for the efficacy of behavioural activation in treating anxiety in breast cancer patients. In: Clinical Psychologist. 2016 ; Vol. 20, No. 1. pp. 17-26.
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