Breast cancer: Education, counseling, and adjustment among patients and partners: A randomized clinical trial

Wendy C. Budin, Carol Noll Hoskins, Judith Haber, Deborah Witt Sherman, Greg Maislin, Jacqueline R. Cater, Frances Cartwright-Alcarese, Mildred Ortu Kowalski, Christina Beyer McSherry, Renee Fuerbach, Shilpa Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although various forms of psychoeducation and counseling interventions have been examined among patients with a variety of diagnoses, the unique contribution of phase-specific psychoeducation and telephone counseling (TC) to the ongoing process of adjustment has not been explored among patients with breast cancer and their partners. Objective: To conduct a randomized controlled clinical trial of phase-specific evidence-based psychoeducation and TC interventions to enhance emotional, physical, and social adjustments in patients with breast cancer and their partners. Methods: A purposive sample of 249 patient-partner dyads were assigned randomly to one of four groups: (a) control group receiving disease management (DM), (b) standardized psychoeducation (SE), (c) TC, or (d) standardized psychoeducation plus telephone counseling (SE + TC). Data were collected at baseline, diagnostic, postsurgery, adjuvant therapy, and ongoing recovery phases measuring emotional, physical, and social adjustments. Results: Patients showed poorer adjustment over time in the DM group relative to those receiving interventions on selected measures of emotional adjustment. All patients showed improvement over time in overall health and adjustment in social and vocational environments. Partners in all groups exhibited improvement over time for measures of adjustment in the social environment but no changes in psychological well-being or overall health. Partners in the TC group had poorer scores on physical symptoms compared with the SE + TC group and poorer vocational scores compared with the DM group. Discussion: Findings from this study provide preliminary support for the value of phase-specific SE and TC interventions to enhance selected adjustment outcomes for patients with breast cancer and their partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-213
Number of pages15
JournalNursing research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Breast cancer adjustment
  • Partner adjustment
  • Psychoeducation
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Symptom experience
  • Telephone counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Breast cancer: Education, counseling, and adjustment among patients and partners: A randomized clinical trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this