Objective: Although women's breast cancer affects both women and their male partners, as well as their relationships, few interventions have been developed to work with couples confronting breast cancer. The current investigation presents the pilot results from a new couple-based intervention program for breast cancer that teaches couples how to minimize negative effects and maximize positive functioning during this diffcult time. Method: In this pilot study, 14 couples in which the wife had early stage breast cancer were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment conditions: Couple-based relationship enhancement (RE) or treatment-as-usual (TAU). Results: The results from this study suggest that compared with couples receiving treatment-as-usual, both women and men in the RE condition experienced improved functioning on individual psychological variables as well as relationship functioning at posttest and 1-year follow-up. In addition, women in RE show fewer medical symptoms at both time periods. Conclusions: In this pilot study, the couple-based intervention, RE, has shown promise in improving individual, medical, and relationship functioning for couples in which the woman is facing breast cancer, and therefore merits further investigation on a larger scale.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health