Effects of an Interdisciplinary Integrative Oncology Group-Based Program to Strengthen Resilience and Improve Quality of Life in Cancer Patients : Results of a Prospective Longitudinal Single-Center Study


Patients with cancer receiving oncological treatment often suffer from a reduced quality of life (QoL) and resilience.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of an interdisciplinary integrative oncology group-based program on resilience and quality of life in patients with cancer during or after conventional oncological therapy.


This prospective longitudinal single-center study evaluated the resilience (Resilience Scale), quality of life (EORTC-QLQ C30), anxiety, depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and distress levels (Distress Thermometer) of 60 patients with cancer who participated in a 10-week interdisciplinary integrative oncology group-based program during or after cancer treatment in outpatient clinics. An average of 12 (range 11-13) patients participated in each 10-week group. The program included recommendations for diet, stress management, relaxation, and exercise, as well as naturopathic self-help strategies and psychosocial support.


There were slight increases in global quality of life scores (week 0: 58.05 ± 20.05 vs week 10: 63.13 ± 18.51, n = 59, P = .063, d = -.25) and resilience scores (week 0: 63.50 ± 13.14 vs week 10: 66.15 ± 10.17, n = 52, P = .222, d = -.17) after the group program compared to before; however, these changes were not statistically significant and had small effect sizes. Patients with at least moderate anxiety symptoms (P = .022, d = .42) and low resilience (P = .006, d = -.54) benefited most from the program. The patients reported no relevant side effects or adverse events from the program.


No significant effects on global quality of life or resilience were found in the general sample; notably, patients with anxiety and low initial resilience benefited the most from the program.


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