(HealthDay News) — A nurse-led psychological intervention program is beneficial for patients with breast cancer at high risk of depression, according to a study published online May 30 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Yeon Hee Kim, R.N., Ph.D., from the Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a pre- and post-test randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of a nurse-led psychological intervention program on psychological distress and quality of life among patients with breast cancer recruited from an oncology outpatient clinic. The program comprised seven weekly counseling sessions delivered face-to-face and via telephone. The sessions aimed to provide emotional support, as well as enable patients to express their feelings. Sixty patients at high risk of depression were randomized to the intervention group or a control group.

The researchers found that participants in the intervention group reported significantly lower mood disturbance, anxiety, and depression compared with the control group; they also had improved global health status and physical, role, and emotional functions. Fewer symptoms were reported, such as fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain, and insomnia.

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“Our nurse-led psychological intervention program might reduce patients’ uncertainty and encourage them to be pro-active and self-controllable,” the authors write.

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