Anxiety is an emotional and at times a physiological response which is a common experience among patients coping with any cancer diagnosis. Anxiety can range from normal reactions to extreme dysfunction. Anxiety also has tremendous influence over a patient’s decision-making capabilities, treatment adherence, as well as their quality of life and function (Smith, Cope, Sherner, & Walker, 2014). The following articles, where choses to evaluate the validity, reliability, and applicability as to the effectiveness of certain interventions in alleviating anxiety for those afflicted with cancer.
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The first article chosen Mei-Fen et al. (2015), utilized the highest level of research logistics level 1 or meta-analysis and systematic review. The purpose of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for relieving anxiety and depression in people with any form of cancer. Inclusion criteria for the study involved adult participants diagnosed with cancer and receiving mindfulness-based therapeutic intervention and reported changes in anxiety and depression levels. Studies that did not evaluate anxiety or depression levels were not included. The final number of studies included totaled 7 with 888 participants: 469 intervention group and 419 control group (Mei-Fen et al., 2015). The meta-analysis results yielded statistically significant improvements in anxiety and depression levels post mindfulness-based therapy intervention compared to control. Inferred limitations to the study appeared to be lack of mindfulness-based therapeutic consistency, variation of cancers and relatively small number of studies to evaluate. However, this leaves room for future evaluation and scientific inquiry. Overall it can be concluded that this study proves there is an evidence base practicality in the adoption of mindfulness-based interventions for relieving anxiety and depression in people with any form of cancer. However, further studies should be conducted since the research limitations leave room for greater scientific augmentation.
The second article chosen by Goerling, Foerg, Sander, Schramm, & Schlag (2011) explored the influence of psycho-oncologic intervention on the psychological condition of anxiety and depression patients regarding patients with cancer. Like the previous article it to actualized the strongest level for the hierarchy rating system level1utilizing randomized controlled trials (RCTs). For this study participants were categorized according to high or low risk and then randomly placed into either a psycho-oncologic support or control group. The sample was composed of 131 participants with all types of cancer represented and by the end of the study statistical findings showed a reduction of anxiety and depression in high-risk patients who had undergone psycho-oncologic intervention (Goerling, Foerg, Sander, Schramm, & Schlag, 2011). Some of the limitations incurred throughout this study was the fact that the time frame was short of only 12 months and only 49 of the total participants completed the full study. Therefore, it can be concluded that while psycho-oncologic intervention does support anxiety and depression reduction amongst cancer patients further research on a larger scale over a longer period is needed to observe its truest beneficial effects on patient care and wellbeing.
Based on the statistical documentation both articles researched clearly implemented quantitative methodology. This is further evident by the fact that quantitative studies tend to produce knowledge about very precise topics, creating a need for multiple studies over multiple years before conclusive knowledge is yielded. The most common quantitative designs used in health care research are survey, needs assessment, experimental, quasi-experimental, methodologic, meta-analysis, and secondary analysis (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2014 p 439). Although the qualitative methodology was not applied within the context of these articles it is still a well-founded research tool. For example, qualitative research is a method of research designed for discovery rather than verification. It is used to explore little-known or ambiguous phenomena. Interviewing is the main technique used in qualitative methods to explore the meaning of certain experiences to individuals. This method is time consuming and costly and uses small samples; therefore, generalizations cannot be made from findings (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2014 p 476).
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