Project Overview +

This program aims to lend support, both medically and emotionally, to breast cancer survivors who have recently completed their treatment programs. The goal for this project is to create a workbook to be distributed to all women who participate in Taking CHARGE.

Aims +

Aim 1. Provide breast cancer patients, who have finished treatment, with medical information and advice pertinent to their survivor status.

Aim 2. Provide a support network of fellow survivors, through which they could find the camaraderie and understanding that is unique to those who have had similar experiences.

Participants +

Twenty-five women, aged 34 years, completing breast cancer treatment.

Intervention +

The Taking CHARGE intervention involves a two-pronged approach building on self-regulation principles to (1) equip women with self-management skills to address concerns following breast cancer treatment, and (2) provide information about common survivorship topics.

Taking CHARGE consists of four intervention contacts made at two-week intervals over a several-week period. An oncology nurse practitioner and a health educator trained in the Taking CHARGE process co-facilitate the program. The intervention consists of two small group sessions and two individual telephone sessions. Content was the major criteria used to determine the session format.

The content dealing with psychological well being (Session 1) and transitioning successfully to family, work, and social roles (Session 4) is considered especially appropriate for the small group format, which offers opportunities to share experiences and self-management strategies. Content related to managing symptoms (Session 2) and achieving functional wellness (Session 3) is delivered by telephone to tailor the sessions to each woman's unique experiences following treatment. This blended delivery system allows participants to experience peer support in small group session and receive individualized education via telephone.

Each participant receives a Taking CHARGE workbook that serves as a "road map" for each session and guides women through the steps in the self-regulation process and the breast cancer-specific content areas. Participants use the workbook to review key content covered in the group discussions and better prepare for the issues to be discussed during the phone calls.

Findings +

The process evaluation findings from a preliminary test of the Taking CHARGE intervention indicated that intervention group participants found the Taking CHARGE program to be timely, relevant, and to have high utility in dealing with concerns that exist following breast cancer treatment.

Conclusion +

The process evaluation findings provide early evidence of the usefulness of the Taking CHARGE intervention for successful transition to survivorship following breast cancer treatment.

Taking CHARGE

07/01/2001 - 06/30/2002

Sponsor(s)

Walther Cancer Foundation

Principal Investigator:

Bernadine E. Cimprich, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN

Publications: