Review Article

Comparison of Outcome Measures for Traditional and Online Support Groups for Breast Cancer Patients: An Integrative Literature Review

Mary Clare Houlihan, MS, RN, and Joseph D. Tariman, PhD, ANP-BC

DePaul University School of Nursing and DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Mary Clare Houlihan, MS, RN, DePaul University School of Nursing, 1 E. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. E-mail: mhoulih1@alumni.nd.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2017;8:348–359 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2017.8.4.4 | © 2017 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Despite widespread use of support groups in the breast cancer patient population, there are heterogeneous outcome measurements and inconsistencies in their perceived benefits. The purpose of this integrative literature review is to compare the efficacies of traditional and online support groups for breast cancer survivors through analysis of outcome measurements and determination of strengths and weaknesses. After examining the literature, it was found that online support groups are ideal for women who require additional support or who are unable to attend a traditional group. Alternatively, traditional support groups allow for discussion and support tailored to specific cultures and are especially beneficial when a breast cancer survivor is included in the process. These findings suggest that because both traditional and online support groups have unique roles in the psychosocial support of female breast cancer survivors, individual preferences and needs should be considered when determining which support groups will be beneficial.




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