An appraisal of the evidence on the efficacy of bibliotherapy on anxiety, distress, and coping in patients with cancer is lacking in the literature. Bibliotherapy is a self-help intervention using a variety of tools, such as self-help workbooks, pamphlets, novels, and audiobooks, to improve mental health. This review identified nine original research articles that examined bibliotherapy as an intervention to alleviate the psychological issues associated with a cancer diagnosis. Data synthesis from these studies provides preliminary evidence that bibliotherapy is an acceptable and beneficial adjunct therapy for patients with cancer experiencing anxiety, depression, and ineffective coping.
AT A GLANCE
- Preliminary evidence shows that patients with cancer can benefit from bibliotherapy.
- Stress reduction, relief of anxiety and depression, and effective coping are among the most frequently patient-reported outcomes of bibliotherapy.
- Consistent use of the same instruments to measure patient-reported outcomes and randomized, controlled trials are warranted to draw solid conclusions and establish the causal link between bibliotherapy and patient-reported outcomes