The team of Cunningham,
Phillips, Lockwood, Hedley
, from the Ontario
, Princess Margaret Hospital
in a recent issue of Advances in Mind-Body Medicine
when patients dedicatedly employ a variety of psychological self-regulating
strategies, (relaxation, guided imagery, cognitive restructuring
and meditation), there is a life-prolonging effect.
In this prospective, longitudinal,
correlative study, 22 patients with varying kinds of medically incurable,
metastatic cancer were followed for one year, as they engaged in
weekly group psychological therapy.
Patients'' written homework
and therapists'' notes were collected and qualitatively analyzed,
to determine the extent of the patient''s involvement with their
psychological work and the behavioral techniques (high, medium or
low), and then checked for survival duration.
A significant relationship
was found between degree of involveent in psychological work and
survival (p=.006). (The most likely confounding variables - medical
status, age, quality of life and attendance at therapy were similar
As this was a small study,
further research is warranted. But it does indicate that dedicated
involvement in self-regulation and psychological work will prolong
the life of some patients with metastatic cancer.
Citation: Association of involvement in psychological self-regulation with longer survival in patients with metastatic cancer: an exploratory study. Cunningham AJ, Phillips C, Lockwood GA, Hedley DW, Edmonds CV. Advances in Mind Body Medicine. 2000 Fall;16(4):287-94.