Purpose: This study evaluated the effects of coping skills training (CST) on symptoms of depression and anxiety in cancer patients, and investigated moderators of the effects. Methods: Overall effects and intervention-related moderators were studied in meta-analyses of pooled aggregate data from 38 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Patient-related moderators were examined using linear mixedeffect models with interaction tests on pooled individual patient data (n = 1953) from 15 of the RCTs. Results: CST had a statistically significant but small effect on depression (g = −0.31,95% confidence interval (CI) = −0.40;-0.22) and anxiety (g = −0.32,95%CI = -0.41;-0.24) symptoms. Effects on depression symptoms were significantly larger for interventions delivered face-to-face (p = .003), led by a psychologist (p = .02) and targeted to patients with psychological distress (p = .002). Significantly larger reductions in anxiety symptoms were found in younger patients (pinteraction < 0.025), with the largest reductions in patients < 50 years (β = −0.31,95%CI = -0.44;-0.18) and no significant effects in patients ≥70 years. Effects of CST on depression (β = −0.16,95%CI = -0.25;-0.07) and anxiety (β = −0.24,95%CI = -0.33;-0.14) symptoms were significant in patients who received chemotherapy but not in patients who did not (pinteraction < 0.05). Conclusions: CST significantly reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in cancer patients, and particularly when delivered face-to-face, provided by a psychologist, targeted to patients with psychological distress, and given to patients who were younger and received chemotherapy.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Psychosocial care, Coping skills training, Neoplasm, Anxiety, Depression, (individual patient data) meta-analysis
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101882, hdl.handle.net/1765/128761
Journal Clinical Psychology Review
Buffart, L.M, Schreurs, M.A.C., Abrahams, H.J.G., Kalter, J., Aaronson, N.K, Jacobsen, P.B., … Leeuw, Imvd. (2020). Effects and moderators of coping skills training on symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with cancer: Aggregate data and individual patient data meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review, 80. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101882