Psychotherapy Targets for Comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Cancer Patients

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Abstract

The article describes the main psychotherapeutic targets and individual psychological characteristicsof cancer patients with comorbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), using the example of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and rectal cancer patients in remission following surgery (mastectomy, prostatectomy, and colostomy). The study was carried out at N. N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology. The experimental group consisted of 40 patients with breast cancer, 32 patients with prostate cancer, and 19 patients with rectal cancer, in accordance with the selection criteria and based on a specialized questionnaire designed to detect symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (Trauma Screening Questionnaire). A control group, for comparison, was comprised of 51 women with breast cancer, 53 patients with prostate cancer, and 22 patients with rectal cancer who showed signs of constructively coping with cancer. The assessment of individual psychological characteristics of patients in these nosological groups was carried out using a battery of experimental psychological techniques. In order to enhance the adaptive capacity of the personality in patients with oncological diseases, to prevent the likelihood of developing PTSD, and develop the effectiveness of treatment, the following general psychotherapeutic targets were identified: intrapsychic maladaptive type of response to the disease, excessive fixation on the disease and care during illness; low risk tolerance manifested by patients’ reluctance to act in the absence of reliable guarantees of success; destructive and deficient personality functions; shortage of positive cognitive representations of the world and themselves; destructive guilt associated with the illness and family relationships; excessive desire for autonomy and independence that reduces the possibility of receiving social support.

General Information

Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), comorbid mental disorder, oncology, breast cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, individual psychological characteristics, psychotherapeutic targets, internal picture of the disease, type of attitude towards the disease

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu16.2020.402

For citation: Vasileva A.V., Karavaeva T.A., Mizinova E.B., Lukoshkina E.P. Psychotherapy Targets for Comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Cancer Patients. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2020. Vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 402–416. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2020.402. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Anna V. Vasileva, Doctor of Medicine, Chief Researcher, Department for Non-psychotic Mental Disorders Treatment and Psychotherapy, V.M. Bekhterev National Research Medical Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, Associate Professor, Chair of Psychotherapy, Medical Psychology and Sexology, North-Western State Medical Universitynamed after I.I. Mechnikov, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5116-836X, e-mail: annavdoc@yahoo.com

Tatiana A. Karavaeva, Doctor of Medicine, Chief Researcher, Head of the Department for Non-psychotic Mental Disorders Treatment and Psychotherapy, V.M. Bekhterev National Research Medical Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, Professor of the Department of Medical Psychology and Psychophysiology of the St. Petersburg State University; Professor of the Department of General and Applied Psychology with courses in Biomedical Disciplines and Pedagogy of the St. Petersburg State Medical Pediatric University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation; leading researcher of the Scientific Department of Innovative Methods of Therapeutic Oncology and Rehabilitation of the National Research University of Oncology N.N. Petrova" Ministry of Health of Russia; Vice-President of the Russian Psychotherapeutic Association, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8798-3702, e-mail: tania_kar@mail.ru

Elena B. Mizinova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Department for Nonpsychotic Mental Disorders Treatment and Psychotherapy, Lecturer, Department of Regional Programs for Professional Retraining of Experts with Higher Psychological Education, V.M. Bekhterev National Research Medical Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, Lecturer, Department of Medical Psychology and Psychophysiology, Saint- Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3178-543X, e-mail: elenamizinova@yandex.ru

Ekaterina P. Lukoshkina, PhD in Psychology, Researcher Department for Non-psychotic Mental Disorders Treatment and Psychotherapy, V.M. Bekhterev National Research Medical Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8865-4070, e-mail: lukoshkina.ekaterina@gmail.com

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