455 Psychosocial interventions may be of some benefit in prostate cancer

May 04, 2015

written by Brian R McAvoy

Clinical question
How effective are psychosocial interventions for men with prostate cancer in improving quality of life (QoL), self-efficacy and knowledge, and in reducing distress, uncertainty and depression?

Bottom line
Psychosocial interventions may have small, short-term beneficial effects on certain domains of wellbeing, as measured by the physical component of general health-related (GH) QoL and cancer-related QoL, when compared with usual care. Prostate cancer knowledge also increased. However, there was no statistically significant effect on other domains, such as symptom-related QoL, self-efficacy, uncertainty, distress or depression. Moreover, when beneficial effects were observed, it remained uncertain whether the magnitude of effect was large enough to be considered clinically important.

The quality of evidence for most outcomes was rated as very low, reflecting study limitations, loss to follow-up, study heterogeneity and small sample sizes. Differences in type, content, format, delivery, frequency, duration and quantity of the interventions, as well as differences in the stage of prostate cancer among participants and the lack of detailed figures related to treatment modalities, in particular androgen deprivation therapy, restrict the generalisability of these findings.

As the incidence and prevalence of prostate cancer continue to rise, the number of men needing help and support to assist them in coping with disease and treatment-related symptoms and their psychosocial effects is likely to increase. Health professionals often provide interventions to address these issues.

Cochrane Systematic Review
Parahoo K et al. Psychosocial interventions for men with prostate cancer. Cochrane Reviews, 2013, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD008529.DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD008529.pub3. This review contains 19 studies involving 3204 participants.

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.