Meeting the information needs of lower income cancer survivors: Results of a randomized control trial evaluating the American cancer society's "i can cope"

Michelle Y. Martin, Mary B. Evans, Polly Kratt, Lori A. Pollack, Judith Lee Smith, Robert Oster, Mark Dignan, Heather Prayor-Patterson, Christopher Watson, Peter Houston, Shiquina Andrews, Amandiy Liwo, Tung Sung Tseng, Sandral Hullett, Joann Oliver, Maria Pisu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The American Cancer Society is a leader in the development of cancer survivorship resources. One resource of the American Cancer Society is the I Can Cope program, an educational program for cancer survivors and their families. Evaluations of this program indicate that cancer patients highly rate its objectives. Yet, there are gaps in the understanding of the full impact of the program on diverse cancer survivors. In this study, the authors used a randomized trial to evaluate the program. Participants included 140 low-income survivors (79% Black; 38% breast cancer) from community hospitals who were randomized to 4 sessions of I Can Cope (learning about cancer; understanding cancer treatments; relieving cancer pain; and keeping well in mind and body) or 4 sessions of a wellness intervention (humor, meditation, relaxation, and music therapy). The authors' primary outcome was "met information needs." After controlling for covariates, their analysis indicated that I Can Cope was no more effective than the wellness intervention in addressing survivor information needs relative to the learning objectives. Participants provided high overall ratings for both interventions. Self-efficacy for obtaining advice about cancer, age, education, and income were associated with information needs. Educational programs tailored to levels of self-efficacy and patient demographics may be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-459
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Cooperative Agreement U48/DP000567-1 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society awarded to Michelle Y. Martin. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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