Main Article Content

A cognitive-relaxation-visualisation intervention for anxiety in women with breast cancer

C.D. Linde
A.D. Stuart


The aim of this study was twofold. Firstly, to design a cognitive-relaxation-visualisation intervention with the aim of reducing both overt and covert anxiety associated with the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. In addition to the creation of a suitable intervention, the aim of the present study was to ascertain the efficacy of the intervention in two groups of randomly selected female subjects, the one group (N = 72) being pre-diagnosis (awaiting mammogram results) and the other group (N = 16) being post-diagnosis (beginning radiation therapy). A Solomon four group design was used for the pre-diagnosis group and a pre-test - post-test control group design was utilised for the post-diagnosis group. The IPAT Anxiety Scale was used to measure the variables of overt and covert anxiety. Qualitative information regarding the intervention was obtained by means of a delayed interview. The results indicated that while the intervention had the effect of reducing anxiety for both groups, a pre-test sensitisation effect was also observed in the pre-diagnosis group. It emerged that patients had perceived the presence of an empathic individual at the time of diagnosis and early in treatment as being of greatest value in reducing anxiety.

(Health SA Gesondheid : interdisciplinary research journal: 2002 7(3):68-78)