Mastery Enhancement Therapy Improves Self-Efficacy, Depression, and Adjustment for Cancer



Mastery Enhancement Therapy Improves Self-Efficacy, Depression, and Adjustment for Cancer Patients

Raymond C. Nairn Thomas V. Merluzzi

University of Notre Dame

Mastery Enhancement Therapy (MET), which was developed by the authors, integrates solution focused therapy (Lindforss & Magnusson, 1997), self-regulation theory (Carver & Scheier, 1998), and self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1997). We hypothesized that cancer patients who received MET would improve self-efficacy for coping with cancer (Cancer Behavior Inventory: Merluzzi et al. 2001), adjustment (Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale: Derogotis & Derogotis, 1990), quality of life (FACT-G, Cella et al., 1993), and depression (BDI) compared to a no-treatment control group. Participants also completed a measure of the impact of symptoms (Symptom Impact Inventory; Merluzzi & Nairn, 2003). 134 cancer patients undergoing medical treatment were randomly assigned to MET (N=66) or a no-treatment control condition (N=68). The MET patients completed measures noted above before the first session, after the second session, after the fourth session, and three months post-treatment. The control group participants completed the measures at approximately the same times as the treatment group. A multilevel-unstructured-covariance-matrix model with the overall mean score of Symptom Impact Inventory-Frequency as a covariate revealed that, relative to the controls, MET a) improved self-efficacy across time (F=2.79, df=3,130; p=.04), b) was more effective for patients with high disease impact (F = 3.14, df = 3,121; p = .03) as well as for patients with high depression (F = 2.66, df = 3, 126; p = .05). Thus, MET accelerated improvement of self-efficacy for coping with cancer and was more effective for those with more intense symptoms and higher depression. MET is time efficient and cost effective; moreover, other professionals could be trained to deliver the treatment


Attribute NameValues
Document Type
  • Presentation

  • Thomas V. Merluzzi

Date Created
  • 2018-08-13

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  • All rights reserved

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