The purpose of this pilot study is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a brief psychotherapy intervention to improve psychosocial coping and maintain couple relationships among young adults (aged 25-39) with cancer and their caregiving partners.



Eligible Ages
Between 25 Years and 39 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Either: (1) Currently receiving active cancer treatment (n=5) or are within two years of completing active treatment (n=5) at Massachusetts General Cancer Center (MGHCC), located in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, OR (2) are the partner of an individual between the ages of 25-39 who is currently receiving treatment at MGHCC (n=5) or who has completed cancer treatment at MGHCC within the past two years (n=5) - Either: (1) Indicates a score ≥4 on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) adapted distress thermometer study screening questions, OR (2) are the partner of a participant indicating a score ≥4 on the NCCN adapted distress thermometer study screening questions - English-speaking

Exclusion Criteria

• Uncontrolled psychosis, active suicidal ideation, or cognitive impairment

Study Design

Study Type
Intervention Model
Single Group Assignment
Intervention Model Description
Single-Arm Pilot Study
Primary Purpose
Supportive Care
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Young Adults Coping with Cancer Together Intervention
Young adults with cancer and their partner-caregivers will attend dyadic virtual psychotherapy sessions lasting 45-60 minutes on a weekly basis for eight weeks.
  • Behavioral: Young Adults Coping with Cancer Together Intervention
    This intervention is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy and couples' therapy. It aims to improve cancer and caregiving-related self-efficacy and coping, as well as promote relationship maintenance in context of cancer. The intervention will be delivered by a trained mental health practitioner and include didactics, experiential exercises, and home practice.
    Other names:
    • YAD Intervention

Recruiting Locations

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
Jamie M Jacobs, PhD

Emerson Hospital/MGH Cancer Center
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Jamie M Jacobs, PhD

More Details

Massachusetts General Hospital

Study Contact

Jamie M Jacobs, Ph.D.

Detailed Description

Young adults (YA) with cancer have unique challenges in coping, and their primary partners may experience burden and low self-efficacy related to caregiving. In this single-arm pilot trial, the investigators shall deliver an eight-session intervention to YAs with cancer and their self-identified partners who provide caregiving. The intervention is founded on principles from cognitive-behavioral therapy and couples-focused interventions, tailored for YA. The aim of the study is to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention, which will inform refinements prior to a larger-scale clinical trial. This study will include 10 YAs and their partner-caregivers (N=20). Participants will complete surveys at baseline and after the intervention, and will be invited to complete optional semi-structured exit interviews.


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