Online workshop for breast cancer survivors and their male partners

Dr. Joanne Stephen is conducting a study relating to female breast cancer survivors and their male partners. Read on for more information:

What is the study about?

The purpose of this project is to test an online educational program geared to the practical and emotional needs of young couples coping with breast cancer (e.g., communication and intimacy, fertility concerns, communication with young children). The program entails reading the web-based materials and participating in six weekly relationship enhancement exercises with your partner. The course is facilitated by a mental health professional.

What is the purpose?

The purpose of this research is to determine whether the Couplelinks program helps improve coping with cancer as individuals and as a couple. Eighty couples from across Canada will participate but only half will receive the workshop during the study, and the other half will be wait-listed. The two groups will then be compared on the same questionnaires to determine if was helpful.

Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires at the start of their participation, and then at two-month and five-month time points. Total maximum time commitment is approximately 10 hours over a five-month period. Enrollment began in the Spring of 2011 and will continue for approximately three years.

Why a program for young couples?

The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer not only affects the woman with the disease but also her life partner. These challenges are often greater for younger couples who have to manage busy lives and multiple responsibilities alongside breast cancer treatment.

If you would like to participate in this program, please contact the facilitators at or at 1.800.663.3333 ext. 4960 or 4966.


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