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Envision the Rhythms of Life Study

Lyn Freeman at Mind Matters Research
Study abstract

To improve quality of life and reduce stress for breast cancer survivors. Phase II Aims: (1) To demonstrate the clinical efficacy (i.e., improved quality of life, stress reduction, participant satisfaction with product) of the "Envision the Rhythms of Life" program and (2) to establish the technical merits of the program's distance-delivery (videoconferencing hardware and software) and instructional technology (i.e., animations, graphically enhanced PowerPoint instructional materials, full-color program manuals, art-as-imagery, and audio-imagery). "Envision the Rhythms of Life" instructs breast cancer survivors in the practice of individualized, emotionally supportive, and biologically accurate imagery and consists of 5, 3-hour long, interactive classes and between-class instructor support. Instructional Options: Option 1 delivers the program technology (animations, PowerPoint, manuals, art, audio-art) with instructor and 15 participants in the same room. Option 2 delivers the program at-a-distance, to a small group of 15, via videoconferencing software and camera systems (Alaska and Seattle) to low, moderate or high bandwidth areas. Each option delivers program three times (total of 45 participants for each option). A website portal provides all program information and materials. Design and Method: Program will be delivered to 135 breast cancer survivors who have completed conventional care (surgery, radiation, IV chemotherapy) for at least six weeks. Differences in option 1 and 2 outcomes will be compared to each other and to controls; combined outcomes of option 1 and 2 will be compared to controls; and waitlist control outcomes will be compared to their extended baseline. Long-Term Objectives: This innovative project integrates technology with bandwidth-sensitive multi-media conferencing strategies to deliver a virtual mind-body, imagery intervention. The technology will allow seamless program delivery to interested survivors across the country during Phase III. Instructional technology, designed per Phase I participant feedback, will serve to `jump-start' potent imagery practice and will optimize clinical efficacy. Commercial application and survivor participation is not limited by location, work schedule, or health status, addressing issues of barriers to access of care. Although desirable, instructional options 1 and 2 do not require survivors to have computer skills or internet access. The program is designed to be culturally sensitive and supports individual spiritual practices. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This program addresses NCI and IOM summary reports that call for individualized supportive care for cancer survivors suffering disease-related distress. Changes in two disease-education program modules would allow the program to be used as supportive therapy for other forms of cancer across the country.

Study review

This study by a research group in Seattle, Washington, is investigating whether a classroom-based, mind-body imagery program can help to improve the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. The researchers were looking to enroll at least 75 volunteers. The Call to Action for this study was sent to Army of Women members on January 21, 2010. The researchers were able to close enrollment on February 15, 2010, after the Army of Women provided them with 77 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.

Resulting Publications: