Jefferson Health

Reducing Stress of Unpleasant Thoughts & Memories of Cancer Experiences

IRB Protocol #: 09D.182


  • Persons who receive a cancer diagnosis can find the experience emotionally distressing. Many cancer patients suffer from traumatic stress symptoms, which include recurring unpleasant thoughts about cancer-related experiences, called "recollections".
  • The purpose of this study is to evaluate if a new stress-reduction technique called Neuro-Emotional Technique (or NET) can reduce these distressing recollections among cancer patients. NET is a brief two-to-five session intervention involving cognitive and behavioral techniques from psychology, a biofeedback technique called the muscle test, and sometimes  traditional Chinese acupuncture.
  • This study will be administered at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and will enroll up to 76 patients.


  • The initial session will consist of the completion of four questionnaires, a standardized interview and an assessment of possible bodily reactions to the distressing recollection.
  • The second to fifth session will consist of the NET intervention. These sessions will be about one week apart and will be about one hour in length.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male or Female Age > 18 years
  • Persons with cancer-related recollections that have persisted for at least three months, but is not in the terminal stages of illness
  • Persons with cancer-related recollection that causes physiological reactivity (i.e., increased heart rate or increased skin conductance level)
  • Received a cancer diagnosis at least three months prior to participation in study, cannot be in the terminal stages of illness
  • Cannot be currently receiving chemotherapy or radiation

Contact Information:

Michael J. Matthews