Article

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 286-294

Benefits of the uncertainty management intervention for African American and white older breast cancer survivors: 20-Month Outcomes

  • Karen M. GilAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Merle H. MishelAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Michael BelyeaAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Barbara GerminoAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Laura S. PorterAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center
  • , Margaret ClaytonAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Abstract

In a 2 x 2 randomized block repeated measure design, this study evaluated the follow-up efficacy of the uncertainty management intervention at 20 months. The sample included 483 recurrence-free women (342 White, 141 African American women; mean age = 64 years) who were 5-9 years posttreatment for breast cancer. Women were randomly assigned to either the intervention or usual care control condition. The intervention was delivered during 4 weekly telephone sessions in which survivors were guided in the use of audiotaped cognitive-behavioral strategies and a self-help manual. Repeated measures MANOVAs evaluating treatment group, ethnic group, and treatment by ethnic interaction effects at 20 months indicated that training in uncertainty management resulted in improvements in cognitive reframing, cancer knowledge, and a variety of coping skills. Importantly, the 20-month outcomes also demonstrated benefits for women in the intervention condition in terms of declines in illness uncertainty and stable effects in personal growth over time.

Key words

breast cancer cancer survivorship uncertainty management personal growth