Evaluation of a psychotherapeutic group after treatment for cancer
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Evaluation of a psychotherapeutic group after treatment for cancer

Anna Lagerdahl Macmillan clinical psychologist in cancer and palliative care, Great Western Hospital, Swindon
Elisha Dutch MSc student, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol
Jasmine Hebden Clinical nurse specialist, Great Western Hospital, Swindon

Anna Lagerdahl and colleagues examine the beneficial effects that facilitated group therapy can offer patients experiencing existential concerns after treatment

This evaluation aimed to assess the effect of an eightweek psychotherapeutic group with an existential focus for individuals who had completed cancer treatment with curative intent. Group members (n=8) and facilitators (n=2) took part in the evaluation. A mixed design was used. Members completed a self-report group evaluation tool developed specifically for the purpose of the evaluation. They also participated in individual, semi-structured interviews. The facilitators completed weekly note sheets detailing group interactions, and a short questionnaire. Quantitative data suggested that most members had found the group helpful, and all thought it was a service that should be offered by the NHS. Thematic analysis identified survivorship difficulties, fellow group members and facilitation as important themes. Findings suggest that, for most participants, addressing existential concerns in a group framework supported the transition to the post-treatment phase. However, for this to be achieved, an appropriate level of facilitation is required. It is hoped that the evaluation can be used to inform future post-treatment groups and aid understanding of the difficulties faced by individuals who have received treatment for cancer with curative intent.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 13, 7, 25-29. doi: 10.7748/cnp.13.7.25.e1065



Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

The evaluation was funded by Macmillan Cancer Support

Received: 14 January 2014

Accepted: 25 June 2014

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