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

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.

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.

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.

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

BJU international. 2017 May 17 [Epub]

Lindsay Hedden, Richard Wassersug, Sarah Mahovlich, Phil Pollock, Monita Sundar, Robert H Bell, Larry Goldenberg, Celestia S Higano

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada., Department of Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada., Vancouver Prostate Centre, Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada.