Positive Psychology Intervention Aids Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Survivors

Greater improvements reported in gratitude, anxiety, physical function at nine weeks; more improvements seen at 18 weeks
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, June 13, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A telephone-delivered positive psychology intervention (Positive Affect for the Transplantation of Hematopoietic stem cells intervention [PATH]) is beneficial for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) survivors, according to a study published online June 11 in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Hermioni L. Amonoo, M.D., M.P.H., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned HSCT survivors who were 100 days post-HSCT for hematologic malignancy to either PATH or usual care. PATH entailed nine weekly phone sessions on gratitude, personal strengths, and meaning and was delivered by a behavioral health expert.

Seventy-two of 105 eligible patients were enrolled. The researchers found that 91 percent of those randomly assigned to PATH completed all sessions and reported that the positive psychology exercises were easy to complete and subjectively useful. PATH participants reported greater improvements in gratitude, anxiety, and physical function compared with usual care at nine weeks and in gratitude, positive affect, life satisfaction, optimism, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, quality of life, physical functioning, and fatigue at 18 weeks.

"Cancer care providers should consider the potential benefits of psychosocial resources and interventions like PATH that focus on enriching positive emotions to bolster their patients' well-being," Amonoo said in a statement. "Encouraging patients to engage in simple, structured, and systematic exercises aimed at fostering positive thoughts and emotions, such as gratitude, has the potential to enhance well-being as well."

One author disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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