Principal Investigators: Sharon L. Manne*, Jamie Ostroff
*Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111
The couple-focused group intervention is a couples' group for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and their partners. This six session group is highly structured with didactic presentations, in-session exercises for skills being taught, and home assignments. Two group leaders lead the sessions. The primary goal of the group is to enhance couples' communication and coping skills to assist them in dealing with the stresses associated with a new diagnosis of breast cancer as a team. The main approach taken is cognitive behavioral skill building.
This intervention has been shown to reduce the distress reported by women who participate in the group. The group is particularly effective among women reporting that their partners are unsupportive.
Key search terms: Couples' group, breast cancer
Manual for group leaders, videotapes, and handouts for couples.
Contact information for further information, materials, and training:
Sharon Manne, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111
Jamie Ostroff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 631 Lexington Avenue, NY NY
Training qualifications and guidelines for those delivering the intervention:
Master's in Social Work or Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology. There is no training program available at this time.
Estimated costs of implementing the intervention:
The cost of paying interventionists and copying handouts, the cost of copying the tape used in the groups, as we do not provide copies.
Caveats/ limitations on the implementation of this intervention:
We do not know if the intervention is effective in reducing the distress of partners. We do not know if this intervention is effective if it is not delivered as intended.
Manne, S., Ostroff, J., et al., (2005). Couple-Focused Group Intervention for women with early stage breast cancer. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 634-646.