Psychoeducational Interventions for Supporters of Women with Breast Cancer: an Integrative Review

Robin M. Lally, Catherine Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of this review was to identify and evaluate psychoeducational intervention studies addressing the psychological adjustment needs of family members, spouses, and friends (supporters) providing support to women with early-stage breast cancer with the goal of guiding future research and practice. This is an integrative review initiated by a systematic search conducted within the PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO databases among literature published from 2003 to 2014. Articles were retained for evaluation if the sample was from a western culture, and outcomes were reported separately for supporters of women with early-stage breast cancer after receipt of a psychosocial/educational intervention. Studies using qualitative, pilot, and pre-experimental designs were included for review. Six studies meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. Of these, three were randomized controlled trials (one pilot) and three used a pre-experimental, single-group design. All of the interventions demonstrated some efficacy; however, limitations in design, sample, and reporting of outcomes were identified. The pre-experimental and pilot design of the majority of the research identified in this review limits the ability to make firm recommendations for translation to clinical practice although the psychoeducational interventions appear clinically useful. Future research should define samples of supporters consistently across studies, report behavioral and psychological outcomes separately for individuals with differing relationships with the affected woman, increase racial diversity among samples, consider time and cost when designing psychoeducational interventions, and focus interventions on specific characteristics and needs of the diverse groups of individuals who provide support for women with early-stage breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-632
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Family
  • Intervention
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Spouse
  • Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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