Web-based stress management for newly diagnosed cancer patients (STREAM): A randomized, wait-list controlled intervention study

Urech, Corinne; Grossert, Astrid; Alder, Judith; Scherer, Sandra; Handschin, Barbara; Kasenda, Benjamin; Borislavova, Borislava; Degen, Sven; Erb, Jennifer; Faessler, Alexandra; Gattlen, Laura; Schibli, Sarah; Werndli, Celine; Gaab, Jens; Berger, Thomas; Zumbrunn, Thomas; Hess, Viviane (2018). Web-based stress management for newly diagnosed cancer patients (STREAM): A randomized, wait-list controlled intervention study. Journal of clinical oncology, 36(8), pp. 780-788. American Society of Clinical Oncology 10.1200/JCO.2017.74.8491

JCO.2017.74.8491.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Purpose: Being diagnosed with cancer causes major psychological distress; however, a majority of patients lack psychological support during this critical period. Internet interventions help patients overcome many barriers to seeking face-to-face support and may thus close this gap. We assessed feasibility and efficacy of Web-based stress management (STREAM [Stress-Aktiv-Mindern]) for newly diagnosed patients with cancer.
Patients and Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, patients with cancer who had started first-line treatment within the previous 12 weeks were randomly assigned to a therapist-guided Web-based intervention or a wait-list (control), stratified according to distress level (≥ 5 v < 5 on scale of 0 to 10). Primary efficacy end point was quality of life after the intervention (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue). Secondary end points included distress (Distress Thermometer) and anxiety or depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Treatment effect was assessed with analyses of covariance, adjusted for baseline distress.
Results: A total of 222 of 229 screened patients applied online for participation. Between September 2014 and November 2016, 129 newly diagnosed patients with cancer, including 92 women treated for breast cancer, were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 65) or control (n = 64) group. Adherence was good, with 80.0% of patients using ≥ six of eight modules. Psychologists spent 13.3 minutes per week (interquartile range, 9.5-17.9 minutes per week) per patient for online guidance. After the intervention, quality of life was significantly higher (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue: mean, 8.59 points; 95% CI, 2.45 to 14.73 points; P = .007) and distress significantly lower (Distress Thermometer: mean, −0.85; 95% CI, −1.60 to −0.10; P = .03) in the intervention group as compared with the control. Changes in anxiety or depression were not significant in the intention-to-treat population (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: mean, −1.28; 95% CI, −3.02 to 0.45; P = .15). Quality of life increased in the control group with the delayed intervention.
Conclusion: The Web-based stress management program STREAM is feasible and effective in improving quality of life.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Berger, Thomas (B)


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Society of Clinical Oncology




Salome Irina Rahel Bötschi

Date Deposited:

09 May 2018 08:53

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback