Background: Breast cancer as a chronic disease is associated with many physical and psychological problems that necessitate the use of psychological treatments.
Objectives: This study was aimed to investigate the efficacy of meaning-centered psychotherapy on existential anxiety and fear of cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors.
Methods: In a randomized controlled clinical trial with pre-test, post-test, and follow-up along with a control group, 28 breast cancer survivors were selected by random sampling among patients that attended the Cancer and Hematology specialized clinic of Semnan University of Medical Sciences. The participants were randomly assigned to two intervention (group treatment, n = 7; individual treatment, n = 7) and one control group (n = 14). Data were collected by existential anxiety scale (EAS) and fear of cancer recurrence inventory (FCRI) and analyzed with the repeated multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) using the SPSS-23 software.
Results: There were significant differences between the experimental groups and the control group on existential anxiety and fear of cancer recurrence (P < 0.001) in breast cancer survivors. Group and individual interventions reduced existential anxiety and fear of cancer recurrence in post-test and follow up in experimental groups compared to the control group (P < 0.001). The interaction of the groups and time assessment was statistically significant (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Meaning-centered psychotherapy reduces existential anxiety and fear of cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors. This intervention is useful to recover psychological problems in breast cancer survivors.