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Does Couples Counseling Help Breast Cancer Patients?

The quality of life for breast cancer patients was consistently better over time if the patient and their mate participated in a couples-based intervention program, according to a study published in Social Work Research journal.

However, the difference in quality of life between 23 couples in a Partners in Coping program and 24 couples who used hospital standard social work services was not significantly different, the study said.

Still, the results could guide future intervention research and give social workers guidance on providing efficient and effective ways in delivering psychosocial services to cancer patients, the authors said.

The study was done by Karen Kayser, PhD, a professor at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work; Barry Feldman, PhD, director of psychiatry services in public safety at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center; Nancy Borstelmann, MSW, MPH, LICSW, director of patient and family support services at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Ann Daniels, PhD, LICSW, ACSW, executive director of social services and champlaincy at Massachusetts General Hospital Social Services.

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