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Psychooncology. 2000 May-Jun;9(3):243-52.

A supportive-expressive group intervention for women with a family history of breast cancer: results of a phase II study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Evidence suggests that there are significant psychological and behavioural sequelae associated with having a family history of breast cancer (BC) which can interfere with comprehension of risk estimates.


The purpose of this study was to develop, standardize and do preliminary testing of a group intervention designed to address the emotional impact of having a family history of BC.


This study is a single-arm pilot design with pre- and post-measures of perceived risk, psychosocial distress, knowledge and screening practices.


The primary study outcome measure of risk comprehension was significantly improved by 70%, according to our predetermined criteria for success. In addition, the most important secondary measures of psychosocial functioning, such as cancer-related distress (p=0.025), depression (p=0.05), anxiety (p=0.005) and unresolved grief (p=0.034) were significantly improved.


The results of this initial pilot study are encouraging; however, further research is required, using a randomized controlled study design to evaluate the relative contribution of this intervention to the successful modification of risk comprehension, enhanced psychological functioning, and to promote optimal screening adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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