With advances in medical treatments, the numbers of cancer survivors have grown
considerably over recent years. Following completion of cancer treatment, patients
can experience a range of physical and psychological difficulties, particularly
around critical transition phases such as adjustment to survivorship. One of the
most common difficulties cited by cancer survivors is that of fear of cancer
recurrence (FOR). Existing treatments for improving psychological wellbeing in this
population appear to offer limited efficacy, and there are very few interventions
directly targeting FOR. Acceptance-based approaches, with an underlying aim of
improving psychological flexibility, offer one novel alternative approach to
addressing these difficulties.
This thesis presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature in
relation to the effectiveness of acceptance-based interventions for post treatment
cancer survivors, with a particular focus on Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBI).
A cross sectional questionnaire study is then reported which explores the potential
role of psychological flexibility in mediating the relationship between FOR and
distress and quality of life (QoL)outcomes.
The findings of the review offer tentative support for the effectiveness of MBI in
reducing stress and depressive symptoms, while less convincing results emerged for
anxiety. Results from the empirical study suggest that while psychological flexibility
does not appear to significantly mediate the impact of FOR on distress and QoL,
value based living and cognitive fusion did emerge as significant mediating
variables within these relationships.
Findings suggest that acceptance-based approaches, may be of benefit in reducing
the burden of distress and improving the lives of cancer survivors. Supporting
cancer survivors to become less entangled with their thoughts and live in
accordance with their values may be particularly beneficial. Further studies using
larger samples and longitudinal designs are warranted.||en
|dc.publisher||The University of Edinburgh||en
|dc.subject||fear of recurrence||en
|dc.title||Applying acceptance-based therapies to help people live well after cancer treatment||en
|dc.type||Thesis or Dissertation||en
|dc.type.qualificationname||DClinPsychol Doctorate in Clinical Psychology||en