Purpose/Objectives: To examine the effectiveness of a telephone interpersonal counseling (TIP-C) intervention compared to a usual care attentional control for symptom management (depression and fatigue) and quality of life (positive and negative affect, stress) for women with breast cancer. Design: Experimental with repeated measures. Setting: Academic cancer center and urban, private oncology offices. Sample: 48 women with breast cancer who were in their mid-50s, married, and employed at the time of the study. Methods: Women were assigned to either the six-week TIP-C or attentional usual care groups. Women were matched on stage and treatment. Data were collected at baseline, after the six interventions, and one month postintervention. Measures included the Center for Epidemiologie Studies-Depression Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, and Index of Clinical Stress. Main Research Variables: Depression, positive and negative affect, fatigue, and stress. Findings: Women in the intervention group experienced decreases in depression, fatigue, and stress over time and increases in positive affect. Conclusions: The preliminary results partially supported the effectiveness of TIP-C for symptom management and quality of life. The authors hypothesized that decreased depression, reduced negative affect, decreased stress, decreased fatigue, and increased positive affect over time would be the resulting psychosocial effects, given the theoretical underpinnings of the intervention. Implications for Nursing: Nurses need to assess the quantity and quality of the social support network early in treatment; women with less social support need to be referred to counseling and support services. Because these women have limited participation in face-to-face interventions, they should be encouraged to participate in telephone or online support programs or in other programs or organizations (e.g., churches, social clubs) that would provide support.
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