Psychosocial support interventions that promote the health behaviors of patients in medical settings improve survival, according to a study published May 18 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Timothy B. Smith of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, United States and colleagues. On average, psychosocial interventions prolonged medical patient life to the same extent as cardiac rehabilitation or treatments for alcoholism or smoking.
Hospitals, clinics, and health organizations have provided psychosocial support interventions for patients to supplement medical care. But variability exists among psychosocial interventions, and prior reviews of interventions augmenting psychosocial support in medical settings have reported mixed outcomes. Smith and his collaborators conducted a meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of psychosocial support interventions in improving patient survival, and to identify factors associated with greater effectiveness. The authors searched the literature for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that were published from 1980 to 2020, and focused their analysis on 106 RCTs including a total of 40,280 patients in inpatient and outpatient health care settings.
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