Patients with head and neck cancer prefer individualized cognitive behavioural therapy

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Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a widely practiced and approved form of psychotherapy for many psychosocial difficulties. As the efficacy of CBT is recognized, its demand has increased and today exceeds the availability of qualified practitioners. Therefore, the effectiveness of delivering CBT using less labour-intensive modes than individualised therapy has been explored. These include group therapy, bibliotherapy and computer assisted therapy. Given the UK Government's impetus towards patient choice and involvement in the planning of healthcare, it was thought essential to ascertain the preferred delivery mode of patients with head and neck cancer for a CBT based intervention. Therefore, a small retrospective cohort (n = 28) of patients following treatment for head and neck cancer were sent postal questionnaires to ascertain their preferences on mode of CBT delivery. Simultaneously, the views of accredited cognitive behaviour therapists (n = 14) were determined on the optimal mode of CBT delivery to these patients. Findings indicated that patients preferred the more individualized mode of CBT delivery, namely one-to-one therapy, followed closely by bibliotherapy, with group format being the least preferred option. Professionals concurred with patients, in that one-to-one interaction was considered an optimal mode of CBT delivery, but professionals considered it equal to group therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-227
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 2006


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