- Volume 29 Issue 3
Purpose: This study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of a self-management program on patients with thyroid cancer, particularly during the time of waiting for surgery after cancer diagnosis. Psychological distress, biological responses of immune cell counts, and quality of life were the variables of this study. Methods: One group pre-post test design was used with the nature of a pilot study. Ten newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patients were recruited through physicians' referrals. After drop out of 4 participants, final data were collected from six participants. Small group technique, a one and half hour-session per week for one month (total 4 sessions, 6 hours) was used. Relaxation techniques, meditation training, and strategies to reduce distress were provided by researchers. Standardized questionnaires and an established bio-assay were used for collection of data. Results: Participants showed significant lowering of psychological distress (p<.05) and improvement in global quality of life (p<.05). Biological responses of immune cell counts did not show statistical significance. Conclusion: The self-management program may reduce psychological distress and improve quality of life of patients with thyroid cancer between the time of diagnosis and surgery. The self-management program would be a valuable approach for patients with an unexpected cancer diagnosis to prepare for their disease experience in a community setting.
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