Research Article Review


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The quality of social and psychological life of patients treated at various cancer stages has been receiving increased attention in the past few years. The medical field has become cognizant of the importance of giving treatment to cancer patients and even their families, in order to alleviate psychological distress. Breast cancer has particularly been known to cause psychosocial impairment to patients, especially women because it affects the basic features that define an essential part of their identity as women. Virtually all patients, whether undergoing therapy or not, have some social or psychological distress level. Patients at various stages of cancer treatment are always worried about mortality and effectiveness of therapy, whereas; those that may have recovered are always worried about recurrences and the anxiety which surrounds the annual medical checks.

The life quality of patients that have undergone treatment at various stages is of great concern to nursing as a variable that defines outcome. There is active research exploration of psychological, social and behavioral effects on cancer survival and prevention in the field of nursing. This has led to recent developments in the field of oncology where psycho-oncology has emerged within the past 20 years as section of oncology that specializes on psychosocial issues related to the continuum of therapy and those that affect prevention. There is an already established body of knowledge, agenda for research and training program formulation.

The two highlighted research articles present part of the current active research in nursing within psycho-oncology which tries to find out the needs and concerns of women affected by cancer as well as the effectiveness of using body-mind-spirit therapy by psycho-oncology nurses on cancer patients to improve their coping skills and reduce anxiety levels. The first research paper by Lisa B. B. Melissa O. M. Bogda K. Tracey D. W. addresses a research conducted on Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer to determine their needs and concerns in relation to cancer treatment. The focus is mainly laid on the psychosocial aspect of their needs and concerns.

The second research paper by Cecilia et al. highlights a research on the effectiveness of using body-mind-spirit therapy by psycho-oncology nurses on cancer patients to improve their coping skills and reduce anxiety levels. The two research results and papers are essential to the current developments in the field of psycho-oncology in nursing because they help solve two problems. Firstly; the first research helps answer the questions on what the cancer patients expect in terms of needs and the concerns that they have in life. These needs and concerns are major contributors to distress and anxiety, and therefore; learning them will help the medical practitioners know how to address the patients’ needs and concerns in the field of psycho-oncology so as to alleviate their anxiety and social, emotional and psychological distress.

The second research is a solution seeking research related to the problem of anxiety within the field of psycho-oncology (Chun-Ju et al. 2007). The research tries to find the effectiveness of the use of body-mind-spirit group therapy in solving the problems of patients that are undergoing anxiety and distress due to cancer. These research articles address current problems and issues of concern within the field of psycho-oncology.

The two research works under highlight have adopted two different approaches to the research. The first research paper uses a qualitative approach to research with no structured use of experimental outlines. The approach takes a survey model which administers interviews to various groups of people including nurses, patients and non-affected people. The research model answers why and not how where the later is characteristic quantitative approach to research (Neil, 2007). The search for the why solution is sought through the use of unstructured information in the form of interview results. This qualitative model is used to get insight in to peoples attitudes, concerns, preferences and needs. On the other hand, the second research case uses a quantitative approach with a structured experimental model with a control group and a structured way of data collection and analysis that seeks to establish the covariance on the data (Neil, 2007).

Each of these research cases has a different purpose and objectives. The first researchs purpose was to identify the needs and concerns of women suffering from affected by cancer. The results were significant to nursing because they tell the psychosocial aspects which should be addressed in order to reduce the patients psychosocial related problems. Thus, this researchs main purpose was identification of the cited concerns and needs. On the other hand, the second research was experimental in nature and thus it could be termed explorative, because it was exploring the possible application of the mind-body-spirit group therapy in alleviating anxiety problems among the victims of cancer.

 The first research corresponds to evidence based practice focus in the sense that it seeks to diagnose the cause of psychosocial problems by identifying the root causes which emanate from un-catered for concerns and needs that the patients have in common. Thus the evidence generated would be focused or used in the area of diagnosis and subsequent remedial steps of treatment (Lisa et al. 2008). On the other hand, the second research corresponds to evidence based practice focus because it seeks to find out the effectiveness of using mind-body-spirit group therapy in reducing the anxiety of patients affected by cancer. The research seeks to prove by evidence gathered from the research that indeed the mind-body-spirit therapy approach is effective in helping to treat high anxiety levels amongst cancer patients. The results of the research could be applied to the treatment phase where patients with psychosocial problems may get treated using the mind-body-spirit therapy.

The research results from these two cases may help the nursing field in psycho-oncology to understand the main causes of anxiety and distress, through identification of the patients needs and concerns. This will clinically help the psycho-oncologists in establishing a module through which they can acquire information from the patients regarding their needs and concerns in order to help them tailor a treatment that will alleviate their psychosocial problems (Lisa et al. 2008). The second research may also make great significance in clinical handling of cancer patients with psychosocial problems.

The research results show positive improvements in anxiety reduction and therefore, clinically the mind-body-spirit therapy may be recommended in treating psychosocial problems if a clinical framework of its application is developed (Chun-Ju et al. 2007). The research results from these two cases are most relevant to medical practitioners working within the psycho-oncology field that deals with cancer patients with psychosocial problems as well as those that may potentially develop the problems. Personally I find this information useful in establishing the root cause of psychosocial problems in cancer patients and it also offers me a treatment alternative that I may recommend to may patients.



Chun-Ju, L. Ping-Chuan, H. King-Jen. C. Yu-Fen. L. Kuo-Chang. W. Fei-Hsiu. H.Siu-Man. N. and Cecilia, C. (2007),. A study on the efficiency of body“mind“spirit group therapy for patients with breast cancer; Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Jacobsen, P. Bretbart, W. and Holland, C. J. (2010),. Psycho-Oncology, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press

Lisa B. B. Melissa O. M. Bogda K. Tracey D. W (2008),. The Psychosocial concerns and needs of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer: A qualitative study of patient, nurse and volunteer perspectives, Blackwell Publishing Ltd Doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2008.00512.x

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