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The contribution of interactive health communication (IHC) and constructed meaning to psychosocial adjustment among women newly diagnosed with breast cancer /

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Breast -- Cancer -- Psychological Aspects.
  • Cancer -- Patients -- Counseling Of.
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Medicine


This doctoral dissertation, as part of a large and ongoing CIHR-funded study, used a subset of the total sample to evaluate the contribution of interactive health communication (IHC) as a complement to more traditional means of informational support (Care-as-usual) to optimal adjustment of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer (N = 135). According to the study protocol, participants in the experimental group received an IHC educational intervention for an eight-week period. Measures of psychosocial adjustment and information-related variables were administered in interviews at Time 1 (pre-intervention) within 8 weeks of initial diagnosis, and again 8 weeks post-intervention (Time 2). Psychosocial adjustment variables included: depressive symptoms (CESD), anxiety (STAI-Y), well-being (IWB), and quality of life (SF-36)-mental and physical health components. Information-related variables included: the need for information related to cancer, cancer-specialist, and family or friend's informational support, and overall satisfaction with information. Optimism and Constructed meaning were evaluated at Time 1 and 2, respectively. A GLM MANCOVA model tested overall F-ratios and regression coefficients using difference scores. Predictors in the model were: group (experimental versus control), constructed meaning, and optimism. The overall model (df = 8, 121) was significant for Group, F = 3.66, p < .001, effect size eta2 = .20, Constructed Meaning, F = 3.04, p < .004, effect size eta2 = .17, and Optimism, F = 2.95, p < .005, effect size eta2 = .16. Participants in the dissertation experimental group had significant improvements in QOL-physical health and overall satisfaction with information when compared with the control group. Constructed meaning was significantly associated with beneficial changes in all of the adjustment-related variables. The results of this dissertation clarify the potentially significant roles IHC and constructed meaning pl

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