Evaluating an educational intervention to alleviate distress amongst men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer and their partners.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

BJU international (2017)

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether an education session alleviates distress for both patients with prostate cancer and their partners; and whether their partner's attendance at the session; and disease, treatment, and sociodemographic characteristics affect changes in distress levels.

PATIENTS, SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We identified men with untreated prostate cancer at the Vancouver Prostate Centre between February 2015 and March 2016 who agreed to attend our education session. The session consisted of a didactic presentation covering the biology of prostate cancer, treatment options, and side-effects, followed by a private joint session with a urologist and radiation oncologist. We assessed distress using the Distress Thermometer (DT) and compared pre- and post-session distress, and change in distress between patients and partners using matched and unmatched t-tests, respectively. We also assessed pre-session anxiety using the seven-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder measure, and decisional certainty using the Decisional Conflict Scale.

RESULTS: In all, 71 patients and 48 partners participated in the study. Attending the session led to a significant reduction in the median DT score for patients (4.0-3.0, P < 0.01) and partners (5.0-4.0, P = 0.02). Partners reported higher distress both before and after the session (4.9 vs 3.8, P = 0.03 pre-session and 4.2 vs 3.2, P = 0.03 post-session). The presence of a partner at the session did not affect patients' pre- or post-session distress or the success of the session at alleviating distress. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics had little effect on distress levels.

CONCLUSIONS: An interdisciplinary education session is equally effective at alleviating distress for both patients with prostate cancer and their female partners.