The effect of individualized education with support on breast cancer patients' anxiety and depression during radiation therapy: A pilot study

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine the effects of individualized education with support intervention on breast cancer patients' anxiety and depression while undergoing radiation therapy (RT). Moreover, the intervention was assessed for its feasibility in the context of Pakistan.
Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used to conduct this study in RT department of a public hospital in Karachi. A total of 61 breast cancer patients receiving radiation as adjuvant therapy participated in the study. The experimental group (n = 31) received individualized education with support in the form of face-to-face sessions and information booklet prior to the commencement of RT. In addition, the nurse remained available for the consultation during the RT sessions and on telephone throughout the RT period. However, the control group received only information booklet. Patients' anxiety and depression were measured in both of the groups before the commencement of RT, and at the completion of RT by using the Aga Khan University Anxiety and Depression Scale (AKUADS).
Results: A significant reduction was found in the overall mean anxiety and depression scores of the experimental group (p = 0.000) from pre-test to post-test. The overall mean anxiety and depression scores of the control group showed no significant difference (p = 0.187). The effect size of the intervention was large (Cohen's d = 2.5).
Conclusion: The intervention was effective in reducing anxiety and depression among breast cancer patients receiving RT. Replication of the study on a larger scale in multiple settings on other cancer patients is recommended.


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Publication ( Name of Journal)

European Journal of Oncology Nursing