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Study of Fine Art Photographs and Visualization Tapes to Improve Surgical Recovery in Breast Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00179634
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Expired for lack of continuing review)
First Posted : September 16, 2005
Last Update Posted : March 24, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

Study Description
Brief Summary:

This is a study to assess whether healing suggestions and enhancing visual milieu (large fine art photographs) will improve mental and physical measures of well-being and recovery from surgery. The study will compare breast cancer patients undergoing identical skin sparing mastectomy and reconstruction surgery randomized to three groups:

  1. Usual care control group
  2. Usual care and exposure to fine art photograph
  3. Usual care and fine art photograph and guided visualization tapes.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Breast Neoplasms Behavioral: Visualization relaxation Behavioral: Visual Milieu Enhancement (Fine art photograph)

Detailed Description:

In the course of surgical procedures and hospitalization, patients are stressed not only by the discomforts and anxieties associated with their illness and treatment but also by the sterile, intimidating medical environment, with no access to the natural environment. Clinical studies from environmental medicine have suggested that during hospital confinement patients benefit from visually pleasing décor. Enhancing the medical milieu can alleviate patient anxiety and discomfort as well as improve markers of stress such as blood pressure and requirement for analgesics. In addition, research has shown the effectiveness of stress reduction approaches such as Relaxation Response, Guided Imagery, and Hypnosis in mediating clinical psychophysiology overall. Such studies have also shown the lowering of stress levels, inducing faster recovery from surgical anesthesia and perhaps even speeding physical healing overall. Use of these techniques has been shown to give people a greater sense of self-control as well and reduce stress reactions that affect health.

The proposed study represents the next step testing clinical efficacy of a behavioral medicine intervention with breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. The current study extends prior research on accelerating healing outcomes through the use of non-pharmacological mental interventions. One prior study demonstrated accelerated bone fracture healing using hypnosis in otherwise healthy young adults. A second study showed enhanced post-surgical wound healing in healthy women undergoing reduction mammoplasty. The current study will generate new data about enhancing outcomes for breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction. The goal of the trial is to determine whether these ancillary treatments enhance psychological and physical post-surgical recovery as compared to usual care only. The study provides an upside potential to enhance patient well being and to accelerate post-surgical recovery with minimal risk. Should significant positive findings result from this study, it will constitute a pilot test of such modifications of the healthcare delivery environment with an eye toward stimulating greater patient well being and shorter length of stay.

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 24 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Using Visual Milieu Enrichment and Guided Visualization to Augment Patient Well-being and Post-surgical Recovery
Study Start Date : March 2005
Primary Completion Date : March 27, 2008
Study Completion Date : March 27, 2008

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Breast Cancer
U.S. FDA Resources

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: 1
Usual Care
Experimental: 2
Usual care and exposure to a visually enriched milieu (landscape photograph)
Behavioral: Visual Milieu Enhancement (Fine art photograph)
Experimental: 3
Usual care, exposure to a visually enriched milieu and audio taped guided visualization with healing suggestions.
Behavioral: Visualization relaxation Behavioral: Visual Milieu Enhancement (Fine art photograph)

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Mood disturbance (Profile of Mood States short form) [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  2. Post-operative pain [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  3. Presence of skin necrosis [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  4. Presence of hematoma [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  5. Presence of infection [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]
  6. Length of hospital stay [ Time Frame: 4 weeks ]

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of stage 0, I, or II breast cancer
  • Skin sparing mastectomy with transverse rectus abdominal muscle (TRAM) or deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap reconstruction planned
  • Ability to give informed consent
  • Working knowledge of English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Physical inability to comply to study protocol
  • Diabetes
  • Current smokers
  • Acute psychosis
  • Mental retardation
  • Language barriers
Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00179634

United States, Massachusetts
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
Sponsors and Collaborators
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Susan L Troyan, MD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
More Information

Hartig T, Evans GW, Jammer LD, Davis DS, Garling T. Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. Journal of Environmental Psychology 23:109-23, 2003
Ewin DM.The effect of hypnosis and mental set on major surgery and burns. Psychiatric Annals 16:115-118, 1986.

Responsible Party: James Rodrigue, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00179634     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2004P000115
First Posted: September 16, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 24, 2017
Last Verified: March 2017

Keywords provided by James Rodrigue, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
Randomized Controlled Trial

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases