Category: Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine - Adult

PS10- #C88 - Development, Evaluation, and Utilization of a Behavioral Health Program for Cancer Patients

Saturday, Nov 18
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Indigo CDGH

Keywords: Behavioral Medicine | Treatment-CBT | Service Delivery

Cancer patients frequently experience considerable distress during diagnosis and treatment. The aims of this study were to describe the development and utilization of a behavioral health program for cancer patients at a small community hospital, as well as to provide preliminary results on program efficacy. This program was developed collaboratively by individuals from a university-based clinical psychology doctoral program and a community hospital. The behavioral health program was comprised of a licensed, PhD-level clinical psychologist and seven clinical psychology doctoral students. Patients were typically referred by their oncologists or nurses. Distress, depression, and anxiety were evaluated for a small subsample of participants. From the time the program was initiated, 238 patients between ages 18 and 95 (M = 66.4) were evaluated over a three-year period. The majority of patients (77.8%) were offered psychosocial care. Although 49.8% declined treatment, 23.6% attended one session and 26.6% attended two or more. There was no significant association between gender and psychosocial treatment acceptance χ2 (2, n = 237) = 4.84, p = .10, phi = .14 or between race and psychosocial treatment acceptanceχ2 (2, n = 237) = 5.20, p = .07, phi = .15. Finally, there was an association between being in a younger age group and accepting treatment, compared to those in an older age group, (χ2 (6, n = 237) = 14.84, p = .02; phi = .26, p = .02). For a small subset of patients (n = 17) for which follow-up depression scores were available, results revealed that the behavioral health program had a statistically significant effect on depression scores between the patients’ first (M = 15.29, SD = 6.84) and last (M = 10.47, SD = 6.02) session, F(1,16) = 8.5, p = .01, h2 = .35. Partnerships between clinical psychology doctoral programs and hospitals may be mutually beneficial. Given low psychosocial treatment utilization rates, this study underscores the importance of readiness to change. Additional implications for clinicians and researchers will be discussed.

Miryam Yusufov

Post Doctoral Fellow
Harvard Medical School/Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Providence, Rhode Island

Lawrence Grebstein

Behavioral Health Program Supervisor
South County Hospital

James Prochaska

University of Rhode Island

Joseph Rossi

University of Rhode Island

Colleen Redding

Research Professor
University of Rhode Island

Ginette Ferszt

University of Rhode Island