A culturally adapted survivorship programme for Asian early stage breast cancer patients in Singapore: A randomized, controlled trial

Alexandre Chan, Yan Xiang Gan, Suan Kai Oh, Terence Ng, Maung Shwe, Raymond Chan, Raymond Ng, Brandon Goh, Yee Pin Tan, Gilbert Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: As cancer mortality rates improve in Singapore, there is an increasing need to improve the transition to posttreatment survivorship care. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a psychoeducation group (PEG) intervention program compared with usual care to reduce distress for physical symptom and psychological aspects in Asian breast cancer survivors who have completed adjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: This was a randomized, controlled trial comprising 72 Asian early stage breast cancer survivors who were randomized into the PEG (n = 34) or the control (n = 38) arm. The participants in the PEG arm underwent a weekly multidisciplinary PEG program delivered in a group format over 3 weeks coupled with cultural adaptation. Both arms were assessed at baseline and 2 months after intervention using the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and EORTC QLQ-C30. A satisfaction questionnaire was also conducted among those survivors who have participated in the PEG program. Effective sizes were calculated using Cohen d. Results: The mean age ± SD of all participants was 53.0 ± 8.9 years, with the majority being Chinese (84.7%) and Malay (6.9%), and clinical characteristics were well balanced in both arms. Compared to the control arm, the PEG arm showed a significantly greater reduction in physical symptom distress (d = 0.76, P =.01) and fatigue (d = 0.49, P =.04). The 82.4% of the participants in the intervention group responded to the satisfaction questionnaire, and the majority (92.9%) agreed that the overall duration of the PEG intervention program was appropriate. Conclusions: A culturally adapted PEG program was effective in reducing physical symptom distress in Asian breast cancer survivors. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02600299).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1654-1659
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • cancer survivors
  • oncology
  • physical symptom distress
  • psychoeducation group
  • psychological distress
  • survivorship


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