Honors Capstone Project
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Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
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Sciences and Engineering
Harmonic Analysis and Representation | Mathematics
The Hematology and Oncology Specialists Foundation plans to carry out a scientific study to assess the effects of several of its psychosocial interventions, or “wellness programs,” on the quality of life (QoL) experienced by cancer patients. Pilot data showed that participation in a meditation program significantly reduced the symptoms of stress experienced by the patients (t = 2.70, p = 0.011), and that participation in psychological counseling significantly reduced the anxiety and depression levels of the patients (t = 5.33, p = 0.002; t = 8.70, p < 0.001, respectively).
The full scale study has a 6×2 factorial design with six treatments (non-participation, wait-list, yoga, meditation, psychological counseling, and lymph edema therapy) and two types of chemotherapy (adjuvant and non-adjuvant) to be tested for main and interaction effects. The effects of these factors on a patient’s quality of life will be measured by the percent change of the patient’s score on the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire from before beginning an intervention, to six weeks after beginning an intervention, and to 12 weeks after beginning an intervention. Possible covariate variables include: sex, age, and race of the patient, and the type of cancer the patient has. Thus, the linear statistical model for this experiment is:
yijk = μ + β1(sex k) + β2(age k) + β3(race k) +β4(cancer k) + trtmnti + chemoj + (trtmnt*chemo)ij + eijk; i = 1 to 6; j = 1 to 2; k = 1 to nk. With yijk defined as the percent change in QoL score from time a to time b for the kth patient with the jth type of chemotherapy in the ith treatment group, i.e. yijk = (qijk(b) – qijk(a))/qijk(a).
The sample size for the experiment is still to be determined.
Appropriate statistical analyses will include ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance) and ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) with planned linear contrasts to test the general hypothesis that participation in an intervention increases the quality of life experienced by the patients.
Thomas, Sarah Julia, "Determining the Effects of Psychosocial Interventions on Quality of Life for Cancer Patients: Analysis of Pilot Data and Recommendations for Full Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis" (2005). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 669.
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