A behavioral intervention for cancer patients that works
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – This is a story about something rare in health psychology: a treatment that has gone from scientific discovery, through development and testing, to dissemination and successful implementation nationwide.

In a new study, researchers found that a program designed at The Ohio State University to reduce harmful stress in cancer patients can be taught to therapists from around the country and implemented at their sites, and effectively improves mood in their patients.

“It’s challenging to take a treatment and scale it up to where it will work with a diverse group of therapists and patients under a wide variety of circumstances,” said Barbara L. Andersen, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State.

“This study documents a remarkable success story.”

The study appears online in the journal American Psychologist and will be published in a future print edition.

The program, now called Cancer to Health, was developed by Andersen and colleagues in the early 2000s. It teaches patients how to think about stress, communicate with doctors and others about their treatment, seek social support, become physically active and take other actions to reduce their stress, improve their mood and enhance quality of life.

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