The feasibility of a randomized clinical trial to implement and compare the effectiveness of three components of an intervention for women with breast cancer and their partners was tested. The intervention components, standardized education by videotape (SE), telephone counseling (TC), and education with telephone counseling (SE+TC), were designed with a complementary approach to disease management of breast cancer at each of four phases of the breast cancer experience: diagnostic, postsurgery, adjuvant therapy, and ongoing recovery. A standardized Telephone Counseling Training Manual was developed. A nonprobability sample of 12 patient-partner pairs was accrued. Four pairs were randomly assigned to each of the three intervention components. A set of questionnaires was completed by each patient and partner at baseline and following each intervention for assessment of emotional, physical, and social adjustment, and perceived support. Attrition was minimal and return rate for the completed questionnaires at all five data-collection points was high. Validation of the SE and the TC, one of the objectives, was by data from the preliminary descriptive study (Hoskins, 1990-1994), pretests and posttests for standardized education, audiotapes for each phase-specific telephone counseling session, and evaluation forms for each intervention session. The positive findings included significant changes from pre-to postmeasurement in patients' and partners' scores for the standardized education in each of the four phases. Even with the limited statistical power, the effects were marked, lending support for a full-scale randomized clinical trial, to understand better the relative treatment efficacy and differential benefit of one or some interventions over others.
ASJC Scopus subject areas