The effect of psychosocial interventions delivered by telephone and videophone on quality of life in early-stage breast cancer survivors and their supportive partners

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We examined the effectiveness of two psychosocial interventions for improving QOL in recently diagnosed breast cancer survivors and their partners. The interventions were telephone health education (THE) and interpersonal counselling. The latter was delivered by telephone (TC) or by videophone (VC) in 8 weekly one-to-one sessions. Fifty two dyads composed of a woman with breast cancer and her supportive partner were randomly assigned to THE, TC or VC. The average age of the survivors was 53 years (range 40-66), and they were mainly white, married, with a college education, and employed. Approximately half of the supportive partners were spouses. Surveys of quality of life (QOL) were made at three points in the study, each separated by 8 weeks. There was significantly higher attrition in the THE group compared to the videophone or telephone counselling groups among both survivors (44% vs. 10% and 8%) and partners (44% vs. 10% and 15%). Regardless of group, participants showed increased QOL over time. Survivors' and partners' social well-being improved in the telephone and videophone interpersonal counselling treatment groups, but not in the health education group. Telephone-delivered psychosocial interventions can be effective for managing QOL in breast cancer survivors and their supportive partners. There was no evidence of superior outcomes associated with using videophones over the conventional telephone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of telemedicine and telecare
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 17 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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