The EMOTICON study

The EMOTICON study

The EMOTICON study is a randomized controlled trial exploring the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques as an intervention to reduce cancer related cognitive impairment and distress among patients receiving cancer treatment (NCT02771028). This project is led by Honorary Visiting Professor of The Positive Ageing Research Institute and the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Philip Debruyne. 

Cognitive complaints are frequent side effect among cancer patients undergoing treatment, and for those who have finished cancer treatment. These complains are often termed “chemobrain” to describe the frequent cognitive dysfunctions experienced by cancer patients. It is not only cancer treatment itself which may lead to cognitive dysfunction, but also the distress, anxiety and fatigue associated with receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment. The aim of the EMOTICON study is to evaluate the efficacy of emotional freedom techniques (EFT) to reduce distress and other symptoms which can contribute to cognitive complaints among cancer patients. EFT is an alternative therapy which involves tapping and using pressure points in the body similar to acupuncture. It has been found to be an effective therapy in other populations for pain, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. This trial is currently in recruitment, for further updates please contact Professor Philip Debruyne. 

 

Funding and collaborators

This trial is supported by Kom Op Tegen Kanker and Fonds Suzanne Duchesne funding innovative projects in psychosocial care for people with cancer. The EMOTICON study is designed on behalf of the Belgian Society for Medical Oncology (BSMO)-Cancer Survivorship Taskforce.

Collaborators on this project include:
Professor Philip Debruyne, AZ Groeninge Hospital, Honorary Visiting Professor ARU. 
Laura Tack, AZ Groeninge Hospital
Dr. Christel Fontaine, UZ Brussel 
Dr. Christine Langenaeken, AZ Klina, Brasschaat
Professor Hans Pottel, KULAK 
Professor Patricia Schofield, Sheffield Hallam University 

 

Publications

Lycke M, Lefebvre T, Pottel L, Pottel H, Ketelaars L, Stellamans K, Eygen KV, Vergauwe P, Werbrouck P, Goethals L, Schofield P, Boterberg T, & Debruyne PR. (2017). The distress thermometer predicts subjective, but not objective, cognitive complaints six months after treatment initiation in cancer patients. J Psychosoc Oncol. 35(6):741-757. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2017.1365798. Epub 2017 Aug 17.
Lycke M, Pottel L, Pottel H, Ketelaars L, Stellamans K, Van Eygen K, Vergauwe P, Werbrouck P, Goethals L, Schofield P, Boterberg T, & Debruyne PR. (2016). Predictors of baseline cancer-related cognitive impairment in cancer patients scheduled for a curative treatment. Psychooncology. 26(5): 632-639. doi: 10.1002/pon.4200. Epub 2016 Aug 1.
Lycke M, Lefebvre T, Pottel L, Pottel H, Ketelaars L, Stellamans K, Eygen KV, Vergauwe P, Werbrouck P, Cool L,  Boterberg T, Liefhooghe N, Schofield P, & Debruyne PR. (2019). Subjective, but not objective, cognitive complaints impact long-term quality of life in cancer patients. J Psychosoc Oncol. 37(4):427-440. doi: 10.1080/07347332.2018.1504154. Epub 2019 Feb 23.