Antoni, M. H., Lechner, S. C., Kazi, A., Wimberly, S. R., Sifre, T., Urcuyo, K. R., Phillips, K., Gluck, S., & Carver, C. S. (2006). How stress management improves quality of life after treatment for breast cancer. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 1143-1152.

The range of effects of psychosocial interventions on quality of life among women with breast cancer remains uncertain. Further, it is unclear which components of multi-modal interventions account for such effects. To address these issues, a 10-week group cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention was tested among 199 women newly treated for non-metastatic breast cancer, following them for one year after recruitment. The intervention reduced reports of social disruption and increased emotional well-being, positive states of mind, benefit finding, positive lifestyle change, and positive affect for up to 12 months (indeed, some effects strengthened over time). With respect to mechanisms tested, the intervention increased confidence in being able to relax at will. There was also evidence that effects of the intervention on the various outcomes examined here were mediated by change in confidence about being able to relax. Thus, this intervention has beneficial effects on diverse aspects of quality of life after treatment for breast cancer which appear linked to a specific stress management skill taught in the intervention.

To request a reprint of this article, click here

Carver Home

Carver Publications
University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology