Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN
Improving outcomes for rural breast cancer survivors
Karen Meneses PhD, RN, FAAN research focuses on intervention to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors. She was awarded an R01 National Cancer Institute (R01CA120638; 2007-2013) for her project “Rural Breast Cancer Survivor Intervention (RBCS).”
Dr. Meneses and her research team are examining the effectiveness of a telephone-based, psychoeducational support intervention for rural breast cancer survivors. Working with the Florida Department of Health, the RBCS project uses a population-based approach to recruit 540 rural breast cancer survivors living in the State of Florida. The participants are randomized into an experimental or a wait control group, and agree to participate on a monthly basis for twelve months. The RBCS intervention is a multi-component project consisting of individualized telephone education and support supplemented written materials and tip sheets. The education sessions focus on common problems faced by breast cancer survivors including: cancer-related fatigue, lymphedema, and pain. The interventionists teach participants about physical changes after breast cancer and ways to promote a healthy lifestyle after breast cancer (i.e. physical activity, nutrition, and diet), as well as cancer surveillance and follow-up (i.e. the need for mammograms, bone density testing, gynecologic care, and routine follow-up visit with their health-care provider). To-date, the RBCS investigators have accrued nearly 500 participants to the project.