Effects of social constraints and web-based psychoeducation on cancer-related psychological adjustment early-after breast cancer diagnosis

Robin M. Lally, Kevin Kupzyk, Adam Mills, Steven Gallo, Karen Meneses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Social constraints are interactions between individuals that result in preventing one’s disclosure of thoughts and emotions needed to facilitate cognitive processing of a traumatic event such as a breast cancer diagnosis. This study explored women’s perceived social constraints from spouse/partners (S/P) and family/friends (F/F) in the first months after diagnosis while engaged in a study of CaringGuidance™ After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a web-based, psychoeducational, self-management intervention aimed at women’s psychological adjustment. Design: Randomized, controlled, pilot study. Sample: 100 women within 0–3 months of first, stage 0–II breast cancer diagnosis. Methods: Subjects were randomized to self-guided use of CaringGuidance™ for three months plus usual care or usual care alone. Social constraints (S/P) and (F/F), distress, depressive-symptoms, intrusive/avoidant thoughts, and coping were measured at baseline, 1, 2, and 3 months. Findings: The CaringGuidance™ group experienced a significantly greater decrease in perceived social constraints from S/P and F/F over three months than the usual care group. Change in social constraints from F/F significantly moderated change in depressive-symptoms and intrusive/avoidant thoughts, but the same was not true for change in S/P constraints. Conclusions: CaringGuidance™ holds promise as an intervention for newly diagnosed women to self-manage perceptions of social constraints. Implications for Psychosocial Providers: Providers should assess newly diagnosed women’s perceptions of social constraining behavior from F/F, recognizing the potential significant impact of these interactions on psychological adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-698
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2019


  • breast cancer
  • family
  • intervention research
  • psychological adjustment
  • social constraints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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