March 17, 2006
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
Phone: (973) 972-3000
UMDNJ Researchers Seek African-American Women for
Breast Cancer Study
NEWARK—Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey are seeking African-American women who have breast cancer for a randomized study that is designed to measure the impact of group therapy on quality of life. The seven-week study, conducted by researchers at the Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health in Newark, will also identify the value that spiritual group counseling has on treatment compliance.
"Research shows that African-Americans are more likely than Caucasians to use spirituality and religious involvement when coping with adversity," said Dr. Diane Brown, executive director of the Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. "Through this study, we will test the efficacy of a culturally tailored, non-denominational counseling group’s ability to improve the psychological well being and quality of life of African-American women with breast cancer."
A total of 54 African-American women between the ages of 40 to 65, who have been diagnosed with stage I, II, or III breast cancer within the past two years, are being recruited for the study. Each participant will be randomly assigned to one of three study groups. Members of the first group will focus on spirituality and participate in seven weekly group sessions at the UMDNJ-University Hospital in Newark. In addition to opening and closing the sessions with prayer, a minister and a nurse will facilitate the sessions on topics such as communication, stress management, grief counseling, intimacy, sexuality, goal setting and fitness.
Women in the second group will focus on traditional support group activities that will be facilitated by a health educator and a nurse. The third group, the standard care group, will be instructed to follow their prescribed medications without support group involvement.
The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, one of the largest underwriters of breast cancer research in the country. The Department of Defense peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program was created in 1992 as a result of the National Breast Cancer Coalition's "$300 Million More" campaign, which was designed to increase federal funding for breast cancer research
For more information about enrolling in this study, please call (973) 972-4383.