This study is to assess the feasibility of using a positive activities intervention, Positive Piggy Bank, in newly diagnosed women with breast cancer who will soon undergo surgery. A randomized controlled pilot trial of a brief self-guided positive activities intervention, The Positive Piggy Bank (PPB), compared to Treatment as Usual. The PPB intervention involves noting at least one positive event each day, writing it down on a slip of paper and then depositing this piece of paper in a piggy bank. This practice is to take place at the end of the day, every day over a circumscribed period of time. At the end of the "deposit period," in the case of this study after approximately 21 days, the participant "closes the account" and makes a full withdrawal by taking all of the slips out of the piggy bank and reading each one on the night before surgery.


Fifty participants will complete questionnaires at baseline (Day 1), then they will be randomized 1:1 to the Positive Piggy Bank condition (n=25) or Treatment as Usual (n = 25) approximately 3 weeks before surgery. Post-intervention (Day of Surgery) and 14 days post-surgery, participants will complete the same questionnaires. The 14 day post surgery questionnaires will be administered by phone.

Intervention Procedures – The Positive Piggy Bank. Participants randomized to this group will first get an overview of the intervention, learn about the rationale for this treatment, and receive supplies including the instructions on a decorative card, a piggy bank, and paper currency slips (pieces of lined paper with a place for the date). Participants in this group will be instructed to do the activities as detailed above in the Positive Piggy Bank instructions daily until the evening before surgery (approximately 21 days). On the evening before surgery, they are to "close their account" by opening the piggy bank and reviewing all of the slips of paper.

Study personnel will contact patients within 72 hours of beginning the study to answer questions and/or provide encouragement. Participants will also be contacted on the day before surgery to let them know that they should read all of their currency slips and reminded to bring their currency slips with them to the hospital on the day of surgery.

On the day of surgery, prior to surgery they will complete the first set of follow-up questionnaires. They will also be reminded that these same follow-up questionnaires will be administered by phone 14 days after surgery.

The control group will serve to show the relative benefits of the Positive Piggy Bank intervention. These participants will follow the same questionnaire completion procedures as listed above including phone calls. The phone call at 72 hours will be to simply thank them for their participation in the study.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care


Breast Cancer


Positive Activities


University of Michigan, Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
Ann Arbor
United States




University of Michigan

Results (where available)


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-10-20T03:23:21-0400

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