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Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning in Women With Breast Cancer: Can We Fix What We've Broken?

This study has been completed.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Health Network, Toronto Identifier:
First received: January 2, 2007
Last updated: June 30, 2015
Last verified: January 2007
The purpose of this study is to test an innovative intervention geared towards issues of identity, body image and sexuality, and to examine the intervention for its impact on body image, quality of life, psychosocial/sexuality/relational functioning.

Condition Intervention
Breast Neoplasms
Behavioral: Group Therapy Intervention

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Official Title: Randomized Control Trial of a Group Therapy Intervention Addressing Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning for Women With Breast Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University Health Network, Toronto:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Self image and communication(using standardized instruments)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Psychosocial and psychosexual functioning (using standardized instruments)
  • Relational functioning, quality of life and health care utilization (using standardized instruments)

Estimated Enrollment: 180
Study Start Date: January 2007
Study Completion Date: December 2009
Primary Completion Date: December 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women with 1 in 10 Canadian women being diagnosed in their lifetime. There has been an increase in the number of survivors due to advances in treatment and early detection, and increased scientific attention has been focused on patients' quality of life during and after treatment. The majority of survivors do well after the initial adjustment within the first 2 years post-treatment. However, depending on when assessed after treatment completion, a wide range of cancer survivors either score at levels suggestive of a psychiatric diagnosis or are diagnosed with a psychological problem. Furthermore, a subset of survivors experience adjustment problems long after treatment completion. Approximately 20% to 40% of survivors develop sexual and body image problems following breast cancer and treatment and these difficulties tend to persist several years after treatment completion.

This study aims to test an innovative intervention geared towards issues of identity, body image and sexuality and to examine the intervention for its impact on body image and quality of life, psychosocial and sexual functioning and relational functioning.

One hundred and eighty women who have completed treatment for breast cancer will be randomized into either intervention: an 8 weekly psychosocial group support or control condition (standard care + written educational material). All subjects will be followed for 1 year post-intervention. It is hypothesized that, compared to control subjects who receive standard care and educational materials, subjects participating in an 8 weekly psychosocial group support will have higher levels of relationship support/functioning, and that the group differences will be maintained over the 1-year follow up period.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • women with primary breast cancer
  • age between 18 and 65 years
  • completed adjuvant treatments
  • Stage I,II,III cancer of the breast with no metastatic disease

Exclusion Criteria:

  • presence of any metastases
  • history of major psychiatric disorder as defined by the DSM-IV
  • inability to speak or read English for questionnaire completion
  • failure to provide informed consent
  • currently participating in a therapist-led psychosocial support group
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00418444

Canada, Ontario
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4N 3M5
University Health Network
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 2C4
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Health Network, Toronto
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Principal Investigator: Mary Jane Esplen, PhD University Health Network, Toronto
  More Information

Responsible Party: University Health Network, Toronto Identifier: NCT00418444     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CBCRA#017731
Study First Received: January 2, 2007
Last Updated: June 30, 2015

Keywords provided by University Health Network, Toronto:
Breast cancer,group psychotherapy,RCT,women's mental health

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases processed this record on May 25, 2017