Background: One of the best ways of achieving the patients’ views and expectations about the effects of a therapeutic or palliative intervention on their quality of life is using PatientReported Outcome Measures (PROMs). Poetry therapy as a psychotherapy intervention has been used for palliation of stressful conditions of several chronic diseases and disabilities. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of group poetry therapy on the quality of life measures in women with breast cancer.
Methods: A total of 30 women with breast cancer, undergoing chemotherapy at a referral center in the north of Iran, participated in the current quasi-experimental before-after study conducted in 2016. The study protocol included eight weekly sessions of group poetry therapy using poems from the great Persian poets. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30) was completed by the patients before beginning group poetry therapy and, twice more, one week and two months after the last session. Items of the questionnaire were manually scored and then analyzed using appropriate statistical tests in IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.
Results: A total of 28 patients participated in all the group poetry therapy sessions and completed the questionnaire. The mean and standard deviation of age were 45±66. The changes in the score of quality of life from 51.8 to 65.5 and 69 were observed to be significant in the one-week and two-month follow ups (both with P=0.002). Also, changes in symptom score from 34.5 to 23.7 (P=0.01) and functional score from 65.6 to 77.2 (P=0.01) in the two-month follow up were found to be statistically significant.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that group poetry therapy, as a psychotherapy approach, can be used to improve quality of life in breast cancer patients.
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