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Online treatment for sleep problems after breast cancer

 

New online treatment for sleep problems after breast cancer developed by VU and VUmc
Researchers from VU/VUmc have developed an innovative self-help treatment for women coping with trouble sleeping after treatment for breast cancer. This treatment, entitled Overcome your sleep problems after breast cancer, is based on self-adjuvant therapy with proven efficacy. Users of the online course will learn to repair their sleep patterns in a number of lessons and adapt their lifestyle. During the course, the user receives support from a coach. The self-help course consists of information  and (homework) assignments. The course is offered from February 2014 as a collaboration between VU and VUmc  and Prezens, part of GGZ inGeest.  Project leader is prof. dr. Annemieke van Straten (VU Department of Clinical Psychology/EMGO+). Also involved are prof. dr. Irma Verdonck-de Leeuw (VUmc Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, VU Department of Clinical Psychology/ EMGO+), dr. Els Dozeman (Prezens/GGZ inGeest) and Jitske Bongers, Msc (VU Department of Clinical Psychology).
 

Sleep problems in breast cancer
Trouble sleeping is common in the general population, but even more among women treated for breast cancer. About 60% of them have sleep problems and 30% meet the criteria for a sleep disorder. About 75% of the women who visited a physician for their sleep problems got medication prescribed. This is effective in the short term, but has unfavorable side effects and a high risk of addiction. “There is an effective treatment for sleep problems, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, but there are few therapists who offer these. An internet treatment can therefore offer a solution “, said researcher Jitske Bongers (VU Department of Clinical Psychology). “Currently Prezens already offers a similar internet course (developed by the VU) for people in the general population with sleep problems. The experiences with this course are very positive.”

 

The VU University has adapted this course to the specific problems of women with breast cancer and wants to examine how those participating women experience this course. In addition, the researchers within this project will examine if the course adequately meets the needs of women with breast cancer and if the course will help them adequately. After the study period, the online treatment will be included in the regular treatment program of Prezens. Registration is possible at www.slaapproblemen-na-borstkanker.nl, participation is free.

 

Funding: Pink Ribbon.

Questions?
For questions, please contact:
prof dr IM Verdonck-de Leeuw
E-mail: s.biemans@vumc.nl
 

 

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Key paper

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April 20, 2012: Nelly van Uden will give a presentation about OncoKompas at a conference about  ICT in health care in Barcelona.

 

March 16, 2012: NVPO congress in Utrecht, we contribute with 2 oral and 2 poster presentations and a workshop.

 

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December 22, 2011: Radio program DeGids.fm, Felix Meurders interviews Corien Eeltink on sexuality and cancer. 

 

November 2, 2011: KWF / Alpe d'HuZes funds a grant for the development and evaluation of an online intervention for informal caregivers of cancer patients.

 

October 30, 2011 In the national television program "Gesprek op 2", Daphne Bunskoek interviewed Irma Verdonck on living with cancer.

 

October 28, 2011: www.oncokompas.nl is online!

 

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Team work

Our research projects are embedded in the two largest research institutes of VU University in Amsterdam: VUmc CCA-VICI (Cancer Center Amsterdam) www.vumc.nl/afdelingen/CCA-V-ICI/ and EMGO+ (Institute for Health and Care Research emgo.nl

We work closely with patients and their caregivers and with researchers and physicians at VU University and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and other research institutes and hospitals in the Netherlands and worldwide. Team work is crucial  improving research and translating results into clinical practice.

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