The Reimagine online symptom self-management curriculum may significantly improve some of the symptoms associated with chronic pain among breast cancer survivors, according to a study published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Chronic pain, a common adverse associated with cancer survivorship, has been associated with reduced physical functioning, quality of life, depression, and fatigue. Despite adherence to treatment guidelines for pain management with opioids and other pharmacologic options, treatment is often ineffective; coping skills and other mind-body therapies may improve outcomes among survivors.

For this randomized control trial, investigators enrolled 89 adult breast cancer survivors, either cured or in remission, and assigned them to the Reimagine group or usual care. Patients also completed electronic surveys at baseline and 18-weeks after intervention that assessed outcomes such as pain severity/interference, depression, fatigue, and satisfaction.

Results showed that patients in both the Reimagine and usual care arms had significant reductions in depression change scores from baseline to week 18 (P = .03), as well as in fatigue scores (P = .03).

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There were no significant differences observed between the intervention arm versus the usual care arm for pain severity/interference and self-efficacy.

The majority of patients responded that they would recommend Reimagine to others, and that they felt more resilient upon study completion.

The authors concluded that “Reimagine has an effect on depression and fatigue symptoms for breast cancer survivors. Online programs can be a feasible and effective alternative to in-person support. Additional research is recommended with larger and more diverse samples.”

Reference

Smith SK, MacDermott K, Amarasekara S, Pan W, Mayer D, Hockenberry M. Reimagine: a randomized controlled trial of an online, symptom self-management curriculum among breast cancer survivors [published online August 27, 2018]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4431-7