Please login (Members) to view content or
(Nonmembers) this article.
No votes yet
Supportive Care

Bibliotherapy: Appraisal of Evidence for Patients Diagnosed With Cancer

Ryan Malibiran
Joseph D. Tariman
Kim Siarkowski Amer
CJON 2018, 22(4), 377-380 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.377-380

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.


  • 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

Members Only

Access to this article is restricted. Please login to view the full article.

Not a current ONS Member or journal subscriber?
Join/Renew Membership or