Randomized pilot of a self-guided Internet coping group for women with early-stage breast cancer

Department of Psychology, Loma Linda University, CA 92350, USA.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.2). 09/2005; 30(1):54-64. DOI: 10.1207/s15324796abm3001_7
Source: PubMed


Internet-based methods for provision of psychological support and intervention to cancer survivors hold promise for increasing the public impact of such treatments.
The goal of this controlled pilot study was to examine the effect and potential mechanisms of action of a self-guided, Internet-based coping-skills training group on quality of life outcomes in women with early-stage breast cancer.
Sixty-two women completed baseline evaluations and were randomized into either a small online coping group or a waiting-list control condition.
No main effects for treatment were observed at the 12-week follow up. However, there was a significant interaction between baseline self-reported health status and treatment, such that women with poorer self-perceived health status showed greater improvement in perceived health over time when assigned to the treatment condition. Linguistic analyses revealed that positive changes across quality of life variables were associated with greater expression of negative emotions such as sadness and anxiety, greater cognitive processing, and lower expression of health-related concerns.
These results demonstrate the potential efficacy of self-guided Internet coping groups while highlighting the limitations of such groups.

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    • "The assumption behind this technique is that current affects influence the thoughts and speech of an individual, which in turn can be quantified by analyzing the speech. The Gottschalk-Gleser technique has been used with different patients in a variety of settings (Heszen-Niejodek, Gottschalk & Januszek, 1999; Lane & Viney, 2005; Malt & Ursin, 2003; Owen et al., 2005). However, little use has been made of this assessment tool in the context of critical or traumatic incidents (for an exception see Meyer & Balck, 2000; Meyer, Balck, Dinkel & Berth, 2006). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Oct 2014
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    • "Online interventions have the potential to make psychosocial support more widely available and cost-effective (Schover et al., 2012) and can overcome barriers to uptake of psychosocial services such as geographical isolation, stigma concerns or a dislike of face-to-face treatment (Chambers et al., 2010; Gega et al., 2004; Klein, 2010). Although there is considerable evidence for the effectiveness of online interventions in mental health generally (e.g., (Barak et al., 2008; Griffiths et al., 2010; Spek et al., 2007)) and for the psychosocial impact of chronic illnesses and for health behaviour change (Beatty and Lambert, 2013; Spek et al., 2008; Webb et al., 2010), research investigating online interventions for patients with cancer has only recently begun emerging (Beatty et al., 2011; Carpenter et al., 2012; Duffecy et al., 2013; Leykin et al., 2012; Owen et al., 2005; Ritterband et al., 2012; van den Berg et al., 2013). In a randomised controlled trial, Schover et al. found that therapist-assisted internet-based sexual counselling for couples after prostate cancer treatment was as effective as face-to-face counselling for improving sexual outcomes (Schover et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Men with prostate cancer are not routinely offered psychosocial support despite strong evidence that being diagnosed with prostate cancer poses significant quality of life concerns and places the patient at elevated risk of developing a range of mental health disorders. The objective of this study was to develop an online psychological intervention for men with prostate cancer and to pilot test the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. Development of the intervention involved a multidisciplinary collaboration, adapting face-to-face and group intervention strategies for an online format. The full online intervention and moderated forum were pilot tested with 64 participants who were recruited from urology practices in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. After consenting to participate and creating a personal account in the online programme, participants completed baseline demographic questionnaires. Participants were provided access to the programme for 6-12 weeks. After completing the programme participants completed an online survey to assess intervention and forum utilisation and satisfaction, as well as suggest intervention refinements following their use of the intervention. Patient satisfaction was calculated using mean responses to the satisfaction questionnaire. The intervention was received positively with 47.82% of participants highly satisfied with the programme, and 78.26% said they would recommend it to a friend. Participants' qualitative feedback indicated good acceptability of the online intervention. A number of technical and participant engagement issues were identified and changes recommended as a result of the feasibility testing.
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    • "In 3 studies about psychoeducational support [15, 18, 20], the interventions consisted of individual face-to-face education. In 3 studies in other psychosocial support group, the interventions consisted of computer support [16, 19, 21]. In this meta-analysis, only psychoeducational support was effective in improving emotional well-being within 6 months post-intervention. "
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    ABSTRACT: Most breast cancer patients receive psychosocial support interventions. However, the effectiveness of these interventions has not yet been clarified. Quality of life (QOL) was an important construct that should be considered when assessing these interventions. The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial and especially psychoeducational support interventions for early-stage breast cancer patients since the follow-up was bound up to 6 months after finishing the intervention. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify randomized controlled trials with early-stage breast cancer patients receiving psychosocial (psychoeducational and other) support in which QOL was measured as a treatment outcome. We compared mean differences at less than 6 months post-intervention with a control group. The primary outcome was Global Health Status/QOL scale (Global QOL), and secondary outcomes were the subscales of QOL. No significant effect was observed for Global QOL; however, individuals receiving psychosocial support scored higher on the Breast Cancer Symptoms subscale. For psychoeducational support in the psychosocial support, significant effect was observed on the Emotional subscale. Our analysis strengthens the evidence of the effectiveness of psychosocial support in improving breast cancer symptoms and psychoeducational support in improving emotional well-being within 6 months post-intervention.
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