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PLoS One



Pre- and post-operative psychological interventions to prevent pain and fatigue after breast cancer surgery (PREVENT): Protocol for a randomized controlled trial.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer type among women worldwide with over a million new cases each year. More than 40% of these women will struggle with chronic pain and fatigue after surgery, regardless of surgical procedure. These consequences are detrimental and result in distress and disability, including work disability. Few attempts have been made to prevent chronic pain and fatigue after surgery by applying a psychological approach, despite psychological risk factors being crucial in the development of both chronic pain and fatigue. In this study, we aim to develop and test an easily implementable strategy of preventing chronic pain and fatigue after breast cancer surgery. The intervention strategy involves a pre-operative hypnosis session and a web-based post-operative Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The hypnosis has previously been found effective in alleviating acute post-operative pain and fatigue in breast cancer patients, while ACT is well suited to cancer populations as it offers a model of healthy adaptation to difficult circumstances. Together they form an intervention strategy with both a preventive and a rehabilitative focus.