Cheryl Koopman Studies

The following studies are being done under the direction of Cheryl Koopman, Ph.D.

  1. A Study of Education and Support for Women With Breast Cancer
  2. A Pilot Study of Group Interventions for Adolescents with Cancer and Their Families
  3. Treatment of Sexual Problems in Gynecological Cancer


A Study of Education and Support for Women With Breast Cancer

Research Principal Investigator: Cheryl Koopman, Ph.D.
Community Principal Investigator: Mary Anne Kreshka, M.A.
Project Director: Patricia Donnelly, R.N.
Co-Investigators: Ernie Bodai, M.D., Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA, and Karyn L. Angell, Ph.D., Oregon Research Insitute

Funding: California Breast Cancer Research Program

Women diagnosed with breast cancer require immediate and continuing education and psychosocial support. The Sierra-Stanford Partnership has developed and pilot-tested an innovative alternative form of education and psychosocial support: A Workbook-Journal. This intervention 1) is accessible to all women with breast cancer, 2) is inexpensive, and 3) provides a guide to breast cancer information and support sources.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate which types of materials are the most useful and most helpful to a woman's overall experience with breast cancer. We will recuit 200 women from the Breast Health Center in Kaiser, Sacramento to participate in a randomized clinical intervention trial. Women will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions after a baseline assessment: to receive a packet of educational and supportive resource materals or to receive the packet and a workbook-journal. Women will have complete follow-up questionnaires and interviews at 3-, 6-, and 12-months.


A Pilot Study of Group Interventions for Adolescents with Cancer and Their Families

Principal Investigators: Cheryl Koopman, Ph.D. and Hans Steiner, M.D.
Other Collaborators: David Spiegel, M.D., Michael Amylon, M.D., Laura Palmer, Psy.D., Sarah Erickson, Ph.D. (University of New Mexico), Catherine Classen, Ph.D., Katy Araujo, M.S., Bita Nouriani, M.S., Matthew Cordova, Ph.D., and Xin-Hua Chen, B.A.

Funding: American Cancer Society and Child Health Research Fund

The purpose of this study is to develop, pilot test and refine a psychosocial group intervention for adolescents with cancer and their families aimed at enhancing the quality of their lives (reducing distress and improving family functioning), as well as improving the adolescents' adherence to recommended medical treatment. Wehave held eight-week support groups based on the Supportive-Expressive group therapy model for adolescent cancer patients and their parents. In addition, we are holding one or more workshop/retreats for adolescent cancer patients, their siblings, and their parents.


Treatment of Sexual Problems in Gynecological Cancer

Principal Investigator: Cheryl Koopman
Research Assistant: Rebecca Caldwell

Funding: National Institute of Mental Health

This project is designed to develop a better understanding of psychological, social, and sexual difficulties related to gynecological cancer survivors. Specifically, we are researching the ways in which gynecological cancer can affect a woman's sexuality, her intimate relationships, and her body image. The purpose of the study is to develop and refine a supportive group intervention for gynecological cancer survivors aimed at enhancing the quality of their sexual and interpersonal lives. Unfortunately, limited research had been conducted concerning this complex yet vital area of a cancer survivor's life.

Gynecological cancer survivors have been referred to the study through their primary physicians and over the last year have participated in 12 week interventions at Stanford or University of Virginia. Participants have been assessed at baseline, post treatment, and 3 months post treatment by interviews and questionnaires to measure mood disturbance, coping, social support, demographics, as well as changes in sexuality, body image and intimate relationships. We understand that sexuality is a personal and delicate topic, which is why we have Dr. Aposhian, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist specializing in cancer survivor issues, facilitating the groups. We hope that our research will help improve the services available to women surviving gynecological cancer.


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