PurposeBreast cancer survivorship care plans (SCP) have limited content addressing women's health issues. This trial tested if young breast cancer survivors who receive a web-based, women's health SCP were more likely to improve on at least one of the four targeted issues (hot flashes, fertility-related concerns, contraception, and vaginal symptoms) compared to attention controls.
MethodsA randomized controlled trial recruited female survivors ages 18-45 at diagnosis, 18-50 at enrollment, completed primary cancer treatment, and had a significant women's health issue: moderate or higher fertility-related concerns; ≥ 4 hot flashes/day with ≥ 1 of moderate severity; ≥ 1 moderate vaginal atrophy symptoms; or not contracepting/using less effective methods. Survivors underwent stratified, block randomization with equal allocation to intervention and control groups. The intervention group accessed the online SCP; controls accessed curated resource lists. In intention-to-treat analysis, the primary outcome of improvement in at least one issue by 24 weeks was compared by group.
Results182 participants (86 intervention, 96 control), mean age 40.0 ± 5.9 and 4.4 ± 3.2 years since diagnosis, were randomized. 61 intervention group participants (70.9%) improved, compared to 55 controls (57.3%) (OR 1.82, 95% CI 0.99-3.4, p = 0.057). The following issue-specific improvements were observed in the intervention versus control arms: fertility-related concerns (27.9% vs. 14.6%, OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.8); hot flashes (58.5% vs. 55.8%, OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.57-2.2); vaginal symptoms (42.5% vs. 40.7%, OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.6-2.0); contraception (50% vs. 42.6%, OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.74-2.5).
ConclusionsIn young breast cancer survivors, a novel, web-based SCP did not result in more change in the primary outcome of improvement in at least one of the four targeted women's health issues, than the attention control condition. The intervention was associated with improved infertility concerns, supporting efficacy of disseminating accessible, evidence-based women's health information to this population.