Monday, 10 September 2007

People with cancer say what they want from support groups

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A new study finds that many people with cancer, over sixty-five percent according to this particular study, said they would be interested in attending a support group. However, only a small minority actually join one.

Study participants said that they wanted practical medical information promptly after diagnosis and about twice as many wanted medical information over emotional support. Eight-two percent wanted groups to include discussion of spiritual issues, however, Allen Sherman, Ph.D, the lead author from the University of Arkansas, said that this may be influenced by the fact that the participants mostly came from the Bible Belt.

The study also found that people prefer drop-in groups as needed and do not mind if the group contains people with different types of cancer.

Recent studies suggest that support groups do not increase survival time, but they do improve coping skills and mood. As always, with any sort of support or counselling, it is wise to use your gut. If you're getting something out of it, that is great. If not, it's best to move on and find the support you need elsewhere.

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