Responsiveness to change to change due to supportive-expressive group therapy, improvement in mood and disease progression in women with metastatic breast cancer
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OBJECTIVE: To compare the responsiveness of six questionnaires using three hypotheses of change: (i) change due to supportive-expressive group therapy (SEGT), (ii) improved mood defined as a small effect size (.2) on Profile of Mood States (POMS) Total Mood Disturbance score and (iii) progression of disease. METHOD: Data from the "Breast Expressive-Supportive Therapy" study, a multicentre randomized controlled trial of change due to SEGT versus standard of care in women with metastatic breast cancer were used. Questionnaires studied were: POMS, Impact of Event Scale, Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale (PAIS), EORTC QLQ-C30, Mental Adjustment to Cancer and a Pain visual analog scale (VAS). Responsiveness to change was evaluated using the standardized response mean. POMS was used as the standard. RESULTS: POMS was the most responsive questionnaire to change due to SEGT. Questionnaires measuring psychosocial attributes were responsive to improvement in mood. EORTC QLQ-C30, PAIS, PAIN VAS and MAC were the most responsive to disease progression. More responsive questionnaires were associated with the smallest sample size required to detect an effect. CONCLUSIONS: Responsiveness to change is context specific. The POMS was the most responsive questionnaire to psychosocial therapy.
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