Evid Based Nurs 5:47 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.2.47
  • Treatment

A short term education intervention but not peer discussion improved vitality and pain in women with breast cancer

 QUESTIONS: In women with breast cancer, are the positive effects of a short term education intervention maintained over time? Does a peer discussion intervention have positive effects ≥1 year later?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment; unclear if blinded) controlled trial with a mean follow up of 40 months.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


312 women who were 27–75 years of age (mean age 48 y, 93% Caucasian), had breast cancer (National Cancer Institute criteria stage I: 25%; stage II: 69%; and stage III: 6%), and had been treated by surgery (68% lumpectomy, 32% mastectomy) and adjuvant chemotherapy. Follow up was 83%.


Women were allocated to education (n=79), peer discussion (n=74), education plus peer discussion (n=82), or control (n=77), approximately 3 months after diagnosis. Each group comprised 7 small groups of 8–12 women. Education consisted of 8 weekly 45 minute meetings in which an expert lectured on a topic (eg, nutrition), followed by a brief question and answer period. The goal of the education …

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