Prof. Judith Prins and Dr. Marieke Gielissen from the department of Medical Psychology have received a €380.100 KWF Grant for the project entitled "Effectiveness of blended therapy on psychological distress in colorectal cancer survivors: The CORRECT mulitcenter trial".
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common diagnoses worldwide affecting men and women almost equally. Population ageing and improved methods of early detection and treatment have led to rising numbers of patients surviving colorectal cancer. With the introduction of the national colorectal cancer screening program in the Netherlands, the incidence is expected to even further increase, especially for early stages. Approximately 60% of the patients survive 5 years or more without a cancer recurrence. Although the majority of colorectal cancer survivors (CRCS) are resilient and eventually adjust well, a substantial minority experience high levels of distress that affect the patients' quality of life. The prevalence estimates of psychological distress in CRCS is about 35%.
Intervention studies on distress in CRCS are scarce. The CORRECT intervention (COloRectal canceR distrEss reduCTion) will be aimed at decreasing psychological distress through participatory healthcare. The context of healthcare is rapidly changing, "patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health and medical care providers encourage and value patients as partners" (Society Participatory Medicine). Patients are expected to assume a greater role in managing their own care. The CORRECT intervention will stimulate participatory healthcare by combining face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy with self-management activities at a secured website. This innovative approach is called blended therapy. By adding online activities to the face-to-face therapy, patients can seek treatment at home at their convenience and spend more hours to learn new skills to manage distress.
Judith Prins Marieke Gielissen
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