Improvement in quality of life and psychological well-being associated with a culturally based psychosocial intervention for Chinese American breast cancer survivors



The purpose of this study was to investigate improvements in quality of life and psychological well-being among Chinese American breast cancer survivors who participated in a pilot community education and peer-mentor support program.


One hundred and twenty-nine Chinese American breast cancer survivors who recently completed treatment participated in eight cohorts of the program, Joy Luck Academy, which included weekly education and peer-mentor support sessions. The education sessions covered topics designed to help participants adjust to new life after breast cancer treatment. The peer-mentor support component was designed to provide social support. Quality of life and psychological well-being (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety, and low- and high-arousal positive and negative affect) were assessed at baseline and immediately after the intervention.


Paired samples t tests indicated improvements in quality of life, low- and high-arousal positive affect, and reductions in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and low-arousal negative affect.


Our findings suggest that a psychosocial group intervention may improve quality of life and psychological well-being among Chinese American breast cancer survivors. Our intervention has the potential to be applied to other ethnic-minority cancer survivors. Future randomized controlled trials are warranted.

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Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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The authors thank the Scientific Publications, Research Medical Library of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer center for their editing service provided on this manuscript. The authors also acknowledge the contribution made to this project by many lecturers and volunteers of the Joy Luck Academy.


Supported by the National Cancer Institute under award number R01CA180896–01A1 (PI: Qian Lu). Carol Wang1,2 is supported by the Susan G. Komen® Grant GTDR17498270 and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment through the Center for Community-Engaged Translational Research.

Author information




Qian Lu, Alice Loh, Lucy Young, and Carol Wang4 contributed to the study conception and design. Data collection was performed by Alice Loh, Lucy Young, and Carol Wang4. Data analyses were performed by Lingjun Chen. The manuscript was written by Qian Lu, Lingjun Chen, Lilian J. Shin, Carol Wang1,2, Lenna Dawkins-Moultin, and Qiao Chu. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Qian Lu.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards (University of Houston IRB protocol number: 10330-EX; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center IRB protocol number: PA19-0038).

Consent to participate

Participants consented to joining the program and completing questionnaires.

Consent for publication

The academic investigators did not possess any identifying information about participants. Informed consent for secondary analysis of de-identified data and publication was waived and approved by institution IRB.

Code availability

The codes to perform statistical analysis for the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Lu, Q., Chen, L., Shin, L.J. et al. Improvement in quality of life and psychological well-being associated with a culturally based psychosocial intervention for Chinese American breast cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer (2021).

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  • Breast cancer
  • Chinese American
  • Psychosocial intervention
  • Quality of life
  • Psychological well-being