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Emotional well-being and immune response in breast cancer treatment.

14 Aug

Coping, life attitudes, and the immune responses to imagery and group support after breast cancer treatment.

Blair Justice, Mary Ann Richardson and their cohorts at the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health, conducted a pilot study to differentiate the effects of imagery vs. support on coping, attitude, immune function and emotional well-being after breast cancer. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: standard care, weekly support (for 6 weeks) or imagery sessions (for 6 weeks).  

For all women, immune function increased, quality of life improved and natural killer activity remained unchanged. Both of the intervention groups showed better coping skills than the standard care group. And the imagery group had less stress, more vigor and better quality of life than the support group.

The just-begun University of Vermont study cited below was designed to follow up on this study and expand upon it further.

Citation: Richardson MA, Post-White J, Grimm EA, Moye LA, Singletary SE, Justice B. Coping, life attitudes, and the immune responses to imagery and group support after breast cancer treatment. Altern Ther Health Med. 1997 Sep; 3(5):62-70.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award