A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Psycho-Educational Intervention for Melanoma Survivors at High Risk of Developing New Primary Disease

Mbathio Dieng, Anne E. Cust, Rachael L. Morton, Daniel Costa, Graham J. Mann, Scott W. Menzies, Phyllis N. Butow, Nadine A. Kasparian

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Previous studies show that fear
of cancer recurrence (FCR) is high amongst melanoma
survivors. Despite this, little research has
been conducted to address FCR in this setting. Our
team has developed a psycho-educational intervention
comprising a booklet and four telephone-based
psychological support sessions, aimed at addressing
FCR. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and
cost-effectiveness of the newly developed psychoeducational
intervention in reducing FCR among
melanoma survivors at high risk of developing new
primary. METHOD: This study is a multi-centre
two-arm RCT with in-built economic evaluation
designed in line with the CONSORT statement.
Individuals aged over 18 years, with previous melanoma
diagnosed at stages I or II, and attending one
of the three melanoma high risk clinics across New
South Wales will be eligible. Participants in the
intervention arm will receive two booklets (the
newly developed psycho-educational booklet + the
Cancer Council booklet ‘Understanding Melanoma’),
and four individual, telephone-based psychological
support sessions (each 50 minutes)
facilitated by a Clinical Psychologist. Participants
in the control group will receive the Cancer Council
booklet ‘Understanding Melanoma’ only.
RESULTS: All participants will be asked to complete
a questionnaire at baseline (6 weeks before
their full dermatological consultation at the High
Risk Clinic), 2 weeks after their consultation, and
again at 6 and 12 months, to evaluate the effect of
the intervention on fear of melanoma recurrence,
anxiety, stress, depression, quality of life, doctorpatient
communication, melanoma risk knowledge,
healthy behavioural adjustment to melanoma risk,
and unmet supportive care needs. Data will be collected
regarding costs of the psycho-educational
intervention (including material costs, Psychologist
costs, capital costs and consumables), access to psychological
support, complementary therapies used
and medications used. CONCLUSIONS: Should
the hypotheses of this study be supported, this
intervention is likely to be of benefit to melanoma
patients and their health care providers. If successful,
we anticipate the study will provide a tailored,
evidence-based psycho-educational intervention to
reduce psychological morbidity in melanoma
patients, improve healthy coping and adaptation,
and provide a cost-effective health care service for
this cancer patient group. RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS:
This project aims to bridge the gap
between existing research evidence demonstrating a
critical need for psycho-educational support for melanoma
patients, and clinical practice. In addition to
using a gold-standard study design to determine the
effectiveness of the intervention on psycho-social
health of melanoma patients, doctor-patient communication
and quality of life, we will also evaluate
the cost-effectiveness from a health system perspective.
tures of this study will be essential to successful
implementation of this research into clinical practice
We also anticipate the findings of this study
could be used to inform the development and
appropriate delivery of innovative psycho-educational
interventions tailored to address the supportive
care needs of other types of cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberW-4
Pages (from-to)75-76
Number of pages2
Issue numberSupplement S3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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