(HealthDay News) — Developing and using a personal website to chronicle their experience and communicate with others improves psychological and cancer-specific adjustment in women being treated for breast cancer, according to research published online Aug. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Annette L. Stanton, Ph.D., of the University of California at Los Angeles, and colleagues randomly assigned 88 women diagnosed with breast cancer to participation in Project Connect Online or a waiting-list control group. The intervention consisted of a three-hour workshop to create a personal website and a follow-up call to encourage its use.
The researchers found that, six months later, women in the intervention group showed significant benefit in depressive symptoms, positive mood, and life appreciation compared with women in the control group. No benefit was observed in negative mood, perceived strengthened relationships, or intrusive thoughts. Among women participating in the online intervention, those who were currently undergoing treatment for cancer showed significantly greater benefit in depressive symptoms and positive mood than those not receiving treatment.
“To our knowledge, ours is the first research to evaluate an intervention to teach patients with cancer personal website development,” the authors write. “Findings suggest the promise of an intervention to facilitate the ability of women diagnosed with breast cancer to chronicle their experience and communicate with their social network via the Internet.”