Family Functioning Research Program (FFRP)


Actively Recurring Studies

Helping Her Heal: A Program for Spouses of Women with Breast Cancer

The Helping Her Heal Program is offered through the University of Washington School of Nursing.  Experts and nurse clinicians carefully created the materials used in the program, based on over 15 years of research and clinical experience working with women with breast cancer and their families.  They invite you to participate in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. 

The woman you care about has breast cancer.  In addition to questions you have about her health, you may also be wondering about the best way to support her through this experience.  Helping Her Heal is a research study designed to help you support the woman you love (wife or partner) and add to ways to deal with the impact of breast cancer in your every day lives.

The study includes ways you can: 

  • Strengthen yourself so you can be strong for her 
  • Discover, specifically, what your wife/partner needs from you related to the breast cancer
  • Help your wife/partner feel cared for by you

This study was created in response to men, like you, telling us about the challenges they experienced in supporting their wives who were going through treatment for breast cancer. 

The Helping Her Heal Program is available at no charge to you and offers you one of two programs.  Both programs are designed to help spouses/partners help and support their loved one with breast cancer. You will be randomly selected to receive one of two programs.

  • One program involves printed material about couples and breast cancer, which will be sent to you in the mail.
  • The other program involves 5 sessions offered at 2-week intervals by a patient educator-a specially trained clinician experienced in working with families. 

The Helping Her Heal Program is available to men who are married to or in a committed, partnered relationship with a woman who is:

  • Diagnosed with early stage breast cancer (Stage 0, I, II, or III)
  • Within 6 months of her first diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Living in the Puget Sound Area
  • Can speak and read English

For more information, please call:

Mary Ellen Shands, RN, MN at 206 685-0837 or email

(Please remember that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by e-mail.)