How stress management improves quality of life after treatment for breast cancer

Michael H. Antoni*, Suzanne C. Lechner, Aisha Kazi, Sarah R. Wimberly, Tammy Sifre, Kenya R. Urcuyo, Kristin Phillips, Stefan Glück, Charles S. Carver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


The range of effects of psychosocial interventions on quality of life among women with breast cancer remains uncertain. Furthermore, it is unclear which components of multimodal interventions account for such effects. To address these issues, the authors tested a 10-week group cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention among 199 women newly treated for nonmetastatic breast cancer, following them for 1 year after recruitment. The intervention reduced reports of social disruption and increased emotional well-being, positive states of mind, benefit finding, positive lifestyle change, and positive affect for up to 12 months (indeed, some effects strengthened over time). With respect to mechanisms tested, the intervention increased confidence in being able to relax at will. There was also evidence that effects of the intervention on the various outcomes examined were mediated by change in confidence about being able to relax. Thus, this intervention had beneficial effects on diverse aspects of quality of life after treatment for breast cancer, which appear linked to a specific stress management skill taught in the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Breast cancer
  • Cognitive behavioral intervention
  • Quality of life
  • Relaxation training
  • Stress management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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