In the face of imminent loss, many adults with metastatic cancer report a range of mental health challenges, including cancer-related trauma symptoms, fear of cancer progression and dying/death, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness, as well as physical symptoms such as fatigue and pain. Cancer patients may report feeling upset or haunted by imagined scenarios in a way that causes them distress and lowers their quality of life.
This study aims to look at the acceptability and feasability of a writing-based intervention for adults with late-stage or recurrent cancer, or actively treated blood cancer. The EASE study uses a writing-based approach to address an individual’s worst-case scenario about cancer because previous studies have shown that similar approaches have shown promise in reducing fear in early-stage cancer survivors and among adults with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). The EASE study represents a novel adaptation of this foundational work on written exposure therapy (WET) to address worst-case scenarios among adults with late stage cancers.
The EASE study will include 5 weekly one-on-one online video sessions with a trained therapist where participants will be coached through writing exercises based on a worst-case scenario related to their cancer experience.
This single-arm pilot trial aims to look at the acceptability and feasibility of a writing-based intervention for adults with metastatic or recurrent cancer, or actively treated blood cancer.
The EASE intervention represents a novel adaptation of foundational work on written exposure therapy (WET) to address worst-case scenarios among adults with metastatic cancer, including cancer diagnosed at Stage III or IV, cancer that has recurred, or actively treated lymphoproliferative cancer. The study will consist of 5 weekly one-on-one online sessions with a trained graduate student therapist who will explain the approach and coach participants through writing exercises based on a worst-case scenario related to their fears about cancer.
The intervention will be delivered remotely via videoconferencing software or videoconferencing plus phone. Phone sessions will be available as a backup if a participant has significant technical difficulties with Zoom. All sessions will be recorded.
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