Feasibility and acceptance of the CaringGuidance web-based, distress self-management, psychoeducational program initiated within 12 weeks of breast cancer diagnosis

Robin M. Lally, Gina Bellavia, Steven Gallo, Kevin Kupzyk, Vicki Helgeson, Catherine Brooks, Deborah Erwin, Jean Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Limited clinical resources create barriers to quality management of cancer-related distress. CaringGuidance After Breast Cancer Diagnosis is a web-based, patient-controlled, psychoeducational program of cognitive-behavioral, coping and problem-solving strategies aimed at early post-diagnosis distress reduction without clinical resources. This study evaluated the feasibility of recruiting and retaining newly diagnosed women to 12 weeks of CaringGuidance and program acceptance. Methods: Women with stage 0 to II breast cancer diagnosed within the prior 3 months were recruited from clinics and communities in four states, from 2013 to 2015 and randomized to 12 weeks of CaringGuidance plus usual care (n = 57) or usual care alone (n = 43). Recruitment, retention, and program use were tracked. Using standard and study-derived measures, demographic and psychological variables were assessed at baseline and monthly and program satisfaction at 12 weeks. Results: Of 139 women screened, 100 enrolled, five withdrew, and 12 were lost to follow-up (83% retention rate). Total program engagement was positively associated with greater baseline intrusive/avoidant thoughts. Intervention participants (92%) believed CaringGuidance would benefit future women and was easy to use. Sixty-six percent believed CaringGuidance helped them cope. Women used program content to change thoughts (49%) or behaviors (40%). Stress in the previous year was positively associated with reports that CaringGuidance was reassuring and helpful. Conclusions: Feasibility and acceptance of CaringGuidance was demonstrated pointing to the program's potential as a cancer-distress self-management intervention. Future research will explore program feasibility and acceptability in other regions of the United States, leading to clinical implementation trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)888-895
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019



  • breast neoplasm
  • cancer
  • eHealth
  • oncology
  • psychological adjustment
  • self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this