An eHealth, Positive Emotion Skills Intervention for Enhancing Psychological Well-Being in Young Adult Cancer Survivors: Results from a Multi-Site, Pilot Feasibility Trial

John M. Salsman*, Laurie E. McLouth, Janet A. Tooze, Denisha Little-Greene, Michael Cohn, Mia Sorkin Kehoe, Judith T. Moskowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Young adult (YA) cancer survivors experience clinically significant distress and have limited access to psychosocial support. Given growing evidence for unique adaptive benefits of positive emotion in the context of health-related and other life stress, we developed an eHealth positive emotion skills intervention for post-treatment survivors called EMPOWER (Enhancing Management of Psychological Outcomes With Emotion Regulation) and evaluated feasibility and proof of concept for reducing distress and enhancing well-being. Method: In this single-arm pilot feasibility trial, post-treatment YA cancer survivors (ages 18–39) participated in the EMPOWER intervention which included 8 skills (e.g., gratitude, mindfulness, acts of kindness). Participants completed surveys at baseline (pre-intervention), 8 weeks (post-intervention), and 12 weeks (1-month follow-up). Primary outcomes included feasibility (assessed by participation percentage) and acceptability (would recommend EMPOWER skills to a friend). Secondary outcomes included psychological well-being (mental health, positive affect, life satisfaction, meaning/purpose, general self-efficacy) and distress (depression, anxiety, anger). Results: We assessed 220 YAs for eligibility; 77% declined. Of those screened, 44 (88%) were eligible and consented, 33 began the intervention, and 26 (79%) completed the intervention. Overall retention was 61% at 12 weeks. Average acceptability ratings were high (8.8/10). Participants (M = 30.8 years, SD = 6.6) were 77% women, 18% racial/ethnic minorities, and 34% breast cancer survivors. At 12 weeks, EMPOWER was associated with improved mental health, positive affect, life satisfaction, meaning/purpose, and general self-efficacy (ps <.05, ds =.45 to.63) and decreased anger (p <.05, d = − 0.41). Conclusion: EMPOWER demonstrated evidence of feasibility and acceptability as well as proof of concept for enhancing well-being and reducing distress. Self-guided, eHealth interventions show promise for addressing YA cancer survivors’ needs and warrant additional research to optimize survivorship care. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02832154, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02832154

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-650
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Emotions
  • Telemedicine
  • Well-being
  • Young adult
  • eHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An eHealth, Positive Emotion Skills Intervention for Enhancing Psychological Well-Being in Young Adult Cancer Survivors: Results from a Multi-Site, Pilot Feasibility Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this