Are You the One in Eight?
Women living with breast cancer can benefit tremendously from participation in support groups. Being a member of such a group can reduce social isolation and depression and increase well-being and emotional control. For many rural women living with breast cancer, however, attending a breast cancer support group is not possible, because many rural communities don’t have large enough populations to support regular, professionally-led groups.
Can women with breast cancer derive the same benefits from a virtual support group as they can from one that meets face to face? That’s the question this new research project, funded through the California Breast Cancer Research Project, seeks to answer. Women living in rural areas may not have access to in-person support groups, but they do increasingly have access to the Internet—and in this way can connect with other women like themselves.
If you are a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and you live in a rural county in California, you may be eligible to participate in the study, which is entitled At-home Support for Rural Women Using Group Video Calling. What we learn from your experiences will help educate doctors and scientists about how they can provide better care and more resources in rural areas.
All participants in the study will receive valuable educational material and be interviewed at the close of the study. Half of the participants will be randomly assigned to a cohort that also receives the virtual support-group intervention. Therefore, if you become a participant in the study, your chances of being in one of the virtual support groups are 50-50. Participants will complete questionnaires related to demographics, distress, medical symptoms and treatment, coping and social support—accessed through a secure link that will be sent to your email address.
By participating in this study you will contribute valuable information about an innovative form of support for breast cancer survivors that is readily accessible to women living in rural communities. You will also receive $50 after completing the online questionnaires and an interview.