Effect of support groups with coaching on adaptation to early stage breast cancer



The effects of 8-week cancer support groups (CSGs) with and without coaching on adaptation were tested in a sample of 181 women with newly diagnosed early stage breast cancer. CSG participation with coaching resulted in higher quality of relationship with significant other at CSG conclusion; this effect was not sustained 8 weeks later. CSG participation had no effect on symptom distress, emotional distress, or functional status. On average, symptom distress was low, emotional distress was moderate, and functional status was relatively high. Independent of CSGs, symptom distress decreased and functional status increased over time from entry into the study to 16 weeks later. Further research is needed to determine the optimal starting time and length for CSGs. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Res Nurs Health 20: 15–26, 1997