Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy for Breast Cancer Survivors: Description of a Program and Preliminary Evaluation of its Effectiveness

Ana Torres, Anabela Pereira, Sara Monteiro


Aim: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has already been shown to be highly effective, namely in psycho-oncology field. There are few descriptions of how a CBT programme for cancer patients groups can be structured and delivered, as well as, there are few efficacy studies of this programs, especially in Portugal. We present a description of an 8-session CBT programme that has been developed by our team, for delivery to breast cancer survivors groups, as well as, the preliminary results of its efficacy. Method: It was used a sample of 20 participants selected from Reach to Recovery of Centre Delegation of Portuguese Cancer League (16 was submitted to the intervention program described and four performed the control group). Evaluation procedures consisted on voluntary fill-out of the following instruments: Courtauld Emotion Control Scale (CEC), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Clinical Inventory of Self-concept (ICAC), Life Orientation Test - Revised version (LOT-R) and the Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC QLQ C-30 and supplement BR-23). Description of components and contents of the sessions are presented. Results: Preliminary results of the programme application are presented. Until now, it was not possible to verify significant results from pre- to post-test. Conclusion: It is important to take in consideration the group therapy programme presented and replicate it with cancer patients in order to obtain clear results of its efficacy. The relevance of this conclusion is emphasized by the cost-effectiveness associated with the group therapy format.


cognitive behaviour group therapy programme; cancer patients; breast cancer survivors