Study published: Long-term effects of an internet-based psychological intervention in patients with cancer


In a study recently published in Internet Interventions, researchers evaluated the long-term effects of an internet-based psychological intervention for depression and anxiety in patients with cancer. The researchers found that the treatment reduced symptoms of depression up to 18 months after the treatment had begun.

Woman sitting on the floor with her legs crossed.

It is common for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer to experience psychological distress. These problems can be present both during and after the medical cancer treatment. The aim of the study was to investigate the long-term effects of an internet-based stepped psychological intervention, iCAN-DO, compared to standard care. Researchers examined the effects on symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as health-related quality of life, at 18 and 24 months after the start of treatment.

The study included 245 patients with cancer who shortly after their diagnosis reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Out of these, 118 participants completed the follow-up after 24 months.

The study is the first of its kind to investigate the effects of an intervention such as iCAN-DO after 24 months. The researchers found that symptoms of depression were lower for patients treated with iCAN-DO compared to standard care at 18 months, but not at 24 months. The study showed no effect of treatment on anxiety.

Read the article ‘Long-term effects on depression and anxiety of an internet-based stepped care intervention for patients with cancer and symptoms of depression and anxiety. The U-CARE AdultCan trial’. It is written by Helena Igelström, Maria Carlsson, Anna Hauffman, Louise von Essen, Helena Grönqvist, Birgitta Johansson, and Erik Olsson.

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Last modified: 2023-03-24