Prosocial Internet Support Group May Not Be Of Any Good For Breast Cancer
A prosocial Internet support group (ISG) that encourages breast cancer survivors with elevated anxiety or depression to help others may not be beneficial, suggests a new study.
Researchers conducted a two-armed randomized controlled trial with pre- and post-test assessments to compare the efficacy of a standard ISG (S-ISG) and an enhanced prosocial ISG.
The study found that participants in the P-ISG exhibited more supportive behaviors posted more "other-focused" messages and fewer "self-focused" messages, and expressed less negative emotion compared with S-ISG participants.
"Despite the successful manipulation of supportive behaviors, the P-ISG did not produce better mental health outcomes in distressed survivors of breast cancer relative to an S-ISG," the authors write. "Helping others may not be beneficial as a treatment for distressed survivors of breast cancer."
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.