Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

Breast cancer treatment can cause pain, fatigue, stress, and sadness for patients. Their intimate partners may also experience stress and sadness. These feelings can strain relationships and reduce quality of life. This strain often continues as the couple adapts to life after patients have completed treatment.

Research has shown that educational programs for couples can improve quality of life and health for breast cancer survivors and their partners. But these programs often take place in person, which can make it hard for couples to attend. Also, the programs may not be designed for Latina breast cancer survivors and their partners, and they often aren’t available in Spanish. These factors make it less likely that Latino couples will take part.

In this study, the research team is adapting an online educational program for couples to focus on Latino culture and cancer survivorship. The team is comparing the adapted program to usual care to see how well each one improves relationships and quality of life among Latina breast cancer survivors and their partners. 

Who can this research help?

Results may help cancer care providers when considering ways to support Latina breast cancer survivors and their partners.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is adapting an online program that helps couples identify, understand, and resolve relationship problems. The team is adapting the program for use with Latina breast cancer survivors and their partners. The adapted program is called Juntos Despues del Cancer/Together After Cancer.

The research team is enrolling 240 couples from cancer centers in Florida. Each couple includes a Latina breast cancer survivor and their partner. The team is assigning couples by chance to one of two groups. 

In the first group, couples receive the Juntos Despues del Cancer/Together After Cancer program. Couples complete the 10-hour online program using a smartphone, tablet, or computer over six to eight weeks. The program teaches healthy communication skills to help solve problems within the relationship. Couples also receive up to five 20-minute coaching sessions with a trained member of the research team. They help the couple use the online program and answer any questions. 

In the second group, couples receive usual care. Usual care consists of information about support services such as support groups and psychotherapy. After five months, couples receiving usual care get access to the Juntos Despues del Cancer/Together After Cancer program. 

At the start of the study and again two and a half months and five months later, couples are completing surveys about:

  • Their relationship
  • Quality of life
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional support
  • Communication styles
  • Intimacy

Cancer survivors are also answering surveys about their body image and fatigue.

Cancer survivors and their partners, advocates, and clinicians are providing input throughout the study.

Research methods at a glance

Design ElementDescription
DesignRandomized controlled trial
Population240 adult couples (Latina breast cancer survivors who had a breast cancer diagnosis in the past 5 years and their partners)
Interventions/
Comparators
  • Juntos Despues del Cancer/ Together After Cancer
  • Usual care
Outcomes

Primary: breast cancer survivor’s quality of life; breast cancer survivor’s and partner’s satisfaction with the relationship 

Secondary: breast cancer survivor’s body image and fatigue; partner’s quality of life; breast cancer survivor and partner’s stress, anxiety, depression, emotional support, supportive communication, negative communication, and intimacy

Timeframe  Timeframe Length of follow-up for collecting data on primary outcomes. View Glossary 5-month follow-up for primary outcomes

Project Information

Dinorah Martinez Tyson, PhD, MPH, MA
University of South Florida
$2,771,560
Culturally Adapted Online Couples Communication Program for Latina Breast Cancer Patients

Key Dates

July 2021
March 2026
2021

Study Registration Information

Tags

Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: December 20, 2023