A Systematic Review of the Association between Psychological Resilience and Improved Psychosocial Outcomes in Prostate Cancer Patients. Could Resilience Training Have a Potential Role?

A high incidence of psychosocial problems in prostate cancer patients has been reported including anxiety, depression and distress. These can add to the patients' disease burden and have been associated with unfavorable cancer treatment outcomes. Interventions designed to address them have found limited success, but psychological resilience (PR) training has never been formally tested. The measurement of PR in prostate cancer patients has been described and has been associated with more favorable psychosocial outcomes in these patients but it has never been systematically reviewed. The aim of this study was to conduct the first systematic review of those studies that have measured it using standardized scales and to determine the potential for resilience training to help overcome the significant psychosocial problems faced by prostate cancer patients.

We searched the literature to identify articles that measured PR among prostate cancer patients.

Of 384 articles identified by the search criteria, there were 19 studies suitable for inclusion regarding 5,417 patients. The most commonly-used scale was the original Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, or an abbreviated version of it. Possible scores range from 0 to 100, mean scores from these studies ranged from 72.9 to 87.1 (standard deviations varied between 13.2 and 16.3). PR was consistently associated with improved psychological outcomes including depression, anxiety and distress, although these were measured with a wide variety of methods making it difficult to quantify the effects. There was also evidence of PR mediating the physical effects of prostate cancer and treatment including urinary symptoms, fatigue and insomnia.

As resilience training has been successful in other cancer settings, it seems likely that it could improve the significant adverse psychosocial outcomes that have been reported in prostate cancer patients and trials designed to objectively test it should be encouraged.

The world journal of men's health. 2024 Apr 01 [Epub ahead of print]

David Robert Harry Christie, Christopher Francis Sharpley, Vicki Bitsika

GenesisCare, Tugun, Australia., Brain-Behaviour Research Group, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.