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A Novel Prosocial Online Support Group for Distressed Breast Cancer Survivors

21 Years
64 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Breast Neoplasms

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Trial Information

A Novel Prosocial Online Support Group for Distressed Breast Cancer Survivors

Psychological distress is a significant problem among breast cancer survivors. Many
survivors turn to the internet for information and support, yet few controlled studies have
examined the effectiveness and safety of online support groups. The investigators are
testing the potential efficacy, acceptability, and feasibility of an innovative theory-based
online support group (OSG) for breast cancer survivors. Members of the control group will
participate in a standard OSG that encourages self-expression. Members of the experimental
condition will participate in a prosocial OSG that provides structured helping opportunities
and coaching on how best to give support to others. Participants will complete two telephone
interviews and six weekly online support group meetings.

Inclusion Criteria:

- diagnosed with stage I or II breast cancer in preceding 36 months

- 21-64 years of age

- access to and ability to use a computer and the internet to communicate with others

- fluent in spoken English

- meet the screening criteria for psychological distress (score >7 on either the
depression or anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales

Exclusion Criteria:

- currently taking medication for depression

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Supportive Care

Outcome Measure:

Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale

Outcome Time Frame:

change from baseline to one month post-intervention

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Stephen J Lepore, Ph.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Temple University


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

August 2011

Completion Date:

June 2014

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Neoplasms
  • breast cancer
  • breast tumor
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Neoplasms



Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania  19140