Acceptability and preliminary feasibility of an Internet/CD-ROM-based education and decision program for early-stage prostate cancer patients: Randomized pilot study - Abstract

BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men in the United States. Management options for localized disease exist, yet an evidence-based criterion standard for treatment still has to emerge. Although 5-year survival rates approach 98%, all treatment options carry the possibility for significant side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. It is therefore recommended that patients be actively involved in the treatment decision process. We have developed an Internet/CD-ROM-based multimedia Prostate Interactive Educational System (PIES) to enhance patients' treatment decision making. PIES virtually mirrors a health center to provide patients with information about prostate cancer and its treatment through an intuitive interface, using videos, animations, graphics, and texts.

OBJECTIVES: (1) To examine the acceptability and feasibility of the PIES intervention and to report preliminary outcomes of the program in a pilot trial among patients with a new prostate cancer diagnosis, and (2) to explore the potential impact of tailoring PIES treatment information to participants' information-seeking styles on study outcomes.

METHODS: Participants (n = 72) were patients with newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer who had not made a treatment decision. Patients were randomly assigned to 3 experimental conditions: (1) control condition (providing information through standard National Cancer Institute brochures; 26%), and PIES (2) with tailoring (43%) and (3) without tailoring to a patient's information-seeking style (31%). Questionnaires were administrated before (t1) and immediately after the intervention (t2). Measurements include evaluation and acceptability of the PIES intervention, monitoring/blunting information-seeking style, psychological distress, and decision-related variables (eg, decisional confidence, feeling informed about prostate cancer and treatment, and treatment preference).

RESULTS: The PIES program was well accepted by patients and did not interfere with the clinical routine. About 79% of eligible patients (72/91) completed the pre- and post-PIES intervention assessments. Patients in the PIES groups compared with those in the control condition were significantly more likely to report higher levels of confidence in their treatment choices, higher levels of helpfulness of the information they received in making a treatment decision, and that the information they received was emotionally reassuring. Patients in the PIES groups compared with those in the control condition were significantly less likely to need more information about treatment options, were less anxious about their treatment choices, and thought the information they received was clear (P < .05). Tailoring PIES information to information-seeking style was not related to decision-making variables.

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study confirms that the implementation of PIES within a clinical practice is feasible and acceptable to patients with a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer. PIES improved key decision-making process variables and reduced the emotional impact of a difficult medical decision.

Written by:
Diefenbach MA, Mohamed NE, Butz BP, Bar-Chama N, Stock R, Cesaretti J, Hassan W, Samadi D, Hall SJ.   Are you the author?
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Departments of Urology & Oncological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States.

Reference: J Med Internet Res. 2012 Jan 13;14(1):e6.
doi: 10.2196/jmir.1891

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22246148 Prostate Cancer Section