Moving Forward 2
Young women who have completed treatment for breast cancer
regularly report a lack of psychological and social support in their lives. They often
continue to struggle with survivorship issues such as ongoing distress and the challenge
of how to rebuild their lives after treatment. Support groups offered in health care and
community settings are among the most well-documented ways of providing this support
to women. Accordingly, many women with breast cancer are frequent users of online
support groups, which are gaining popularity as the most promising aspects of e-health
and provide a facilitative forum for empowerment and coping. Previous research by
this team in a smaller study has shown that online support groups led by professional
counselors can be carried out over the Internet, and that they produce helpful benefits
for young women survivors of breast cancer. However, a larger study to determine the
strength and reliability of these early promising findings is needed.
This research study will meet this need to determine the strength and
reliability of early findings concerning the effectiveness of online support groups. It is
designed to learn about the different potential benefits that young women breast cancer
survivors may get from one of three different types of emotional support:
• Group 1: 12 weeks of online group support led by a professional counselor
• Group 2: 12 weeks of online group support led by a peer-counselor
• Group 3: Educational manual – participants are provided with educational
materials to work with at home
Approximately 210 young women breast cancer survivors (Age 45 or younger) will
be recruited from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.
These participants will be randomly assigned to one of the three aforementioned groups.
The outcomes of these groups will be compared to determine the effectiveness of each
A summary of the results for this project will be posted following completion.