Over two million people in the UK are living with and beyond cancer. A third report diminished quality of life.
A review of published systematic reviews to identify effective non-pharmacological interventions to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.
Databases searched until May 2017 included PubMed, Cochrane Central, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO.
Published systematic reviews of randomised trials of non-pharmacological interventions for people living with and beyond cancer were included; included reviews targeted patients aged over 18. All participants had already received a cancer diagnosis. Interventions located in any healthcare setting, home or online were included. Reviews of alternative therapies or those non-English reports were excluded. Two researchers independently assessed titles, abstracts and the full text of papers, and independently extracted the data.
The primary outcome of interest was any measure of global (overall) quality of life.
Quality assessment assessing methdological quality of systematic reviews (AMSTAR) and narrative synthesis, evaluating effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions and their components.
Of 14 430 unique titles, 21 were included in the review of reviews. There was little overlap in the primary papers across these reviews. Thirteen reviews covered mixed tumour groups, seven focused on breast cancer and one focused on prostate cancer. Face-to-face interventions were often combined with online, telephone and paper-based reading materials. Interventions included physical, psychological or behavioural, multidimensional rehabilitation and online approaches. Yoga specifically, physical exercise more generally, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programmes showed benefit in terms of quality of life.
Exercise-based interventions were effective in the short (less than 3-8 months) and long term. CBT and MBSR also showed benefits, especially in the short term. The evidence for multidisciplinary, online and educational interventions was equivocal.
BMJ open. 2017 Nov 28*** epublish ***
Morvwen Duncan, Elisavet Moschopoulou, Eldrid Herrington, Jennifer Deane, Rebecca Roylance, Louise Jones, Liam Bourke, Adrienne Morgan, Trudie Chalder, Mohamed A Thaha, Stephanie C Taylor, Ania Korszun, Peter D White, Kamaldeep Bhui, SURECAN Investigators
Academic Psychological Medicine, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., Centre for Psychiatry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., Blizard Institute, National Bowel Research Centre, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., University College Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust and UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK., Marie Curie Palliative Research Department, Division of Psychiatry, University College Medical School, London, UK., Cancer Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK., Centre for Tumour Biology, Barts Cancer Institute - Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Denmark Hill, King's College, London, UK., Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK., Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.