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Online support groups for women with breast cancer

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (74th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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11 tweeters

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113 Mendeley
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Title
Online support groups for women with breast cancer
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011652.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Eilis McCaughan, Kader Parahoo, Irene Hueter, Laurel Northouse, Ian Bradbury

Abstract

Survival rates for women with a diagnosis of breast cancer continue to improve. However, some women may experience physical, psychological and emotional effects post diagnosis, throughout treatment and beyond. Support groups can provide opportunities for people to share their experiences and learn from others. As the number of online support groups increases, more and more women with breast cancer will likely access them. To assess effects of online support groups on the emotional distress, uncertainty, anxiety, depression and quality of life (QoL) of women with breast cancer. We searched for trials in the Cochrane Breast Cancer Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2016, Issue 4), MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO on 2 May 2016, and we handsearched journals and reference lists. We also searched the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) search portal and clinicaltrials.gov on 2 May 2016. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing effects of online support groups on women with a diagnosis of breast cancer and women who have completed breast cancer treatment. We included studies comparing online support groups with a usual care group, and studies comparing two or more types of online support groups (without a usual care group). Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed risk of bias. We presented outcome data using mean differences (MDs) and standardised mean differences (SMDs) along with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and we used the fixed-effect model when appropriate. We assessed the quality of the body of evidence using the GRADE approach. We included six studies (492 women) that assessed online support groups for women with breast cancer. Online support groups in these six trials lasted from six to 30 weeks. Women participated in these groups between 1.5 and 2.5 hours per week, and investigators conducted all studies in the USA. Participants were predominantly white and well educated and were moderate to high earners. Four studies compared an online support group versus a control group, and the other two compared a 'moderated' versus a 'peer-led' online support group, and a 'standard' versus an 'enhanced' online support group, respectively.None of the included studies measured 'emotional distress' or uncertainty. One study (78 women) for which data for analysis were missing reported no positive effects of online support on 'distress' and 'cancer-specific distress' versus support provided by a control group. Two studies measured anxiety: One study (72 women) found no difference in anxiety at the end of the intervention between the online support group and the control group (MD -0.40, 95% CI -6.42 to 5.62; low-quality evidence), and the second study (184 women) reported a reduction in anxiety levels at the end of the intervention when comparing the 'standard' support group (run by participants without prompting from health professionals) versus an 'enhanced' online support group (in which participants were specifically asked by the researcher to respond to one another's need for support).Five studies (414 women) measured depression. Three studies compared depression in the online support group with depression in the control group. Pooled data from two studies (120 women) showed a small to moderate reduction in depression in the online support group compared with control groups at the end of the intervention (SMD -0.37, 95% CI -0.75 to 0.00; very low-quality evidence). The third study, a pilot study (30 women), provided no data for analysis but reported no difference in depression between participants in support and control groups at the end of the intervention. Of the remaining two studies that measured depression, one study (60 women) provided no extractable data for comparison but reported no difference in depressive symptoms between a 'moderated' and a 'peer-led' support group; the other study (184 women) reported greater reduction in depression in the 'standard' support group than in the 'enhanced' online support group.Three studies measured quality of life. One pilot study (30 women) provided limited data for analysis but reported no change in quality of life at the end of the intervention. Only two studies (140 women) provided data for pooling and showed no positive effects on quality of life at four months post intervention compared with controls (SMD -0.11, 95% CI -0.47 to 0.24; very low-quality evidence). At 12 months post intervention, one study (78 women) reported that the intervention group did not attain better quality of life scores than the control group (MD -10.89, 95% CI -20.41 to -1.37; low-quality evidence).We found no data for subgroup analyses on stage of disease, treatment modality and types and doses of interventions. No studies measured adverse effects. This review did not find the evidence required to show whether participation in online support groups was beneficial for women with breast cancer, because identified trials were small and of low or very low quality. Large, rigorous trials with ethnically and economically diverse participants are needed to provide robust evidence regarding the psychosocial outcomes selected for this review.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 11 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 113 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 113 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 24 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 17%
Unspecified 18 16%
Student > Bachelor 14 12%
Other 7 6%
Other 31 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 29 26%
Nursing and Health Professions 24 21%
Psychology 22 19%
Unspecified 16 14%
Social Sciences 11 10%
Other 11 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 7. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 May 2018.
All research outputs
#2,095,116
of 12,527,219 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#4,704
of 9,882 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#63,503
of 251,591 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#125
of 221 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,527,219 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 83rd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 9,882 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 52% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 251,591 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 74% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 221 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 43rd percentile – i.e., 43% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.