Table of Contents
ISRN Nursing
Volume 2011, Article ID 638218, 27 pages
Review Article

The Effectiveness of Psychosocial Interventions with Cancer Patients: An Integrative Review of the Literature (2006–2011)

California State University, Sacramento and University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA

Received 14 June 2011; Accepted 4 August 2011

Academic Editors: A. Green and H. S. Shin

Copyright © 2011 Bonnie Raingruber. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Previous integrative literature reviews and meta-analyses have yielded conflicting results regarding the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for cancer patients. Methods. An integrative review of the literature focused on 19 randomized, controlled trials (2006–2011) was completed to examine the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for cancer patients. Eligibility criteria: Inclusion criteria were the study was an English language randomized controlled clinical trial. Results. Seven studies involved nurses. Eleven studies resulted in positive outcomes. Overall, study quality was limited. In eight studies the intervention was not adequately described, 7 studies did not contain a hypothesis, 4 did not include clear eligibility criteria, 10 studies did not randomize appropriately, 9 did not list recruitment dates, 11 did not include a power analysis, 14 did not include blinded patients or data collectors, 11 did not use an intent-to-treat analysis, 10 did not clarify reasons for drop outs, and 11 did not discuss treatment fidelity. Conclusions. Future studies should build on previous findings, use comparable outcome measures, and adhere to standards of quality research. Qualitative studies are needed to determine what cancer patients of varied ages, cancer stages, and racial/ethnic backgrounds believe would be an effective intervention to manage their psychosocial needs.