Acceptability of a virtual prostate cancer survivorship care model in rural Australia: A multi-methods, single-centre feasibility pilot.

A multi-methods, single-centre pilot comprising a quasi-experimental pre-/post-test design and an exploratory qualitative study.

A rural Australian hospital and health service.

Men newly diagnosed with localised prostate cancer who were scheduled to undergo, or had undergone, radical or robotic prostatectomy surgery within the previous 3 months.

The intervention comprised a 12-week virtual care program delivered via teleconference by a specialist nurse, using a pre-existing connected care platform. The program was tailored to the post-operative recovery journey targeting post-operative care, psychoeducation, problem-solving and goal setting.

Primary outcome: program acceptability.

quality of life; prostate cancer-related distress; insomnia severity; fatigue severity; measured at baseline (T1); immediately post-intervention (T2); and 12 weeks post-intervention (T3).

Seventeen participants completed the program. The program intervention showed very high levels (≥4/5) of acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility. At T1, 47% (n = 8) of men reported clinically significant psychological distress, which had significantly decreased by T3 (p = 0.020). There was a significant improvement in urinary irritative/obstructive symptoms (p = 0.030) and a corresponding decrease in urinary function burden (p = 0.005) from T1 to T3.

This pilot has shown that a tailored nurse-led virtual care program, incorporating post-surgical follow-up and integrated low-intensity psychosocial care, is both acceptable to rural participants and feasible in terms of implementation and impact on patient outcomes.

The Australian journal of rural health. 2024 Jun 09 [Epub ahead of print]

Nicole Heneka, Suzanne K Chambers, Isabelle Schaefer, Kelly Carmont, Melinda Parcell, Shannon Wallis, Stephen Walker, Haitham Tuffaha, Michael Steele, Jeff Dunn

University of Southern Queensland, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia., Australian Catholic University, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia., West Moreton Health, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia., University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia., Australian Catholic University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia., University of Southern Queensland, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.