Eun-Ok Im, associate dean for research development and regulatory affairs; Sangmi Kim, postdoctoral associate; Chiyoung Lee, PhD student; and Wonshik Chee, associate professor; recently published an article entitled "Decreasing menopausal symptoms of Asian American breast cancer survivors through a technology-based information and coaching/support program" in Menopause. Co-authors include Eunice Chee of North Carolina State University and Jun Mao of Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center.
Objective: One of the most prevalent and distressing symptoms after breast cancer treatment is menopausal symptoms. Asian American breast cancer survivors have lower quality of life and often receive inadequate management of menopausal symptoms compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Technology-based programs could be a solution to fill the gap in care. The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a technology-based information and coaching/support program on menopausal symptoms of Asian American breast cancer survivors.
Methods: This study adopted a randomized pretest/post-test group design among 91 Asian American breast cancer survivors (42 in an intervention group who used the program and the American Cancer Society Web site and 49 in a control group who used only the American Cancer Society Web site). The intervention was a theory-driven and culturally tailored intervention program that aimed to provide information and coaching/support using computers and mobile devices. Multiple instruments were used to measure background characteristics and menopausal symptoms at pretest, post 1-month, and post 3 months. An intent-to-treat linear mixed-model growth curve analysis was used to analyze the data.
Results: The intervention group showed a significant decrease in the distress scores of menopausal symptoms over time: physical (β = -0.07, P = 0.08), psychological (β = -0.13, P = 0.05), psychosomatic (β = -0.17, P = 0.06), and total symptoms (β = -0.19, P = 0.01). Theory-based variables including attitudes, social influences, and self-efficacy partially mediated the impact of the intervention on the distress scores of menopausal symptoms (P < 0.10).
Conclusions: The program was effective in alleviating menopausal symptoms of Asian American breast cancer survivors.