CaringGuidance™ after breast cancer diagnosis eHealth psychoeducational intervention to reduce early post-diagnosis distress

Robin M. Lally, Kevin A. Kupzyk, Gina Bellavia, Jennifer Hydeman, Steven Gallo, Vicki S. Helgeson, Deborah Erwin, Adam C. Mills, Jean K. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Significant cancer-related distress affects 30–60% of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Fewer than 30% of distressed patients receive psychosocial care. Unaddressed distress is associated with poor treatment adherence, reduced quality of life, and increased healthcare costs. This study aimed to evaluate the preliminary efficacy of a new web-based, psychoeducational distress self-management program, CaringGuidance™ After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, on newly diagnosed women’s reported distress. Methods: One-hundred women, in five states, diagnosed with breast cancer within the prior 3 months, were randomized to 12 weeks of independent use of CaringGuidance™ plus usual care or usual care alone. The primary multidimensional outcome, distress, was measured with the Distress Thermometer (DT), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Impact of Events Scale (IES) at baseline and months 1, 2, and 3. Intervention usage was continually monitored by the data analytic system imbedded within CaringGuidance™. Results: Although multilevel models showed no significant overall effects, post hoc analysis showed significant group differences in slopes occurring between study months 2 and 3 on distress (F(1,70) = 4.91, p =.03, η2 =.065) measured by the DT, and depressive symptoms (F(1, 76) = 4.25, p =.043, η2 =.053) favoring the intervention. Conclusions: Results provide preliminary support for the potential efficacy of CaringGuidance™ plus usual care over usual care alone on distress in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. This analysis supports and informs future study of this self-management program aimed at filling gaps in clinical distress management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2163-2174
Number of pages12
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Distress
  • Internet
  • Psychoeducation
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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