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A randomized trial of internet-based versus traditional sexual counseling for couples after localized prostate cancer treatment
Article first published online: 26 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society
Volume 118, Issue 2, pages 500–509, 15 January 2012
How to Cite
Schover, L. R., Canada, A. L., Yuan, Y., Sui, D., Neese, L., Jenkins, R. and Rhodes, M. M. (2012), A randomized trial of internet-based versus traditional sexual counseling for couples after localized prostate cancer treatment. Cancer, 118: 500–509. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26308
- Issue published online: 5 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 26 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 26 APR 2011
- Manuscript Received: 21 FEB 2011
- erectile dysfunction;
- sexual counseling;
- prostate cancer;
After treatment for prostate cancer, multidisciplinary sexual rehabilitation involving couples appears more promising than traditional urologic treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). The authors of this report conducted a randomized trial comparing traditional or internet-based sexual counseling with waitlist (WL) control.
Couples were randomized adaptively to a 3-month WL, a 3-session face-to-face format (FF), or an internet-based format (WEB1). A second internet-based group (WEB2) was added to examine the relation between web site use and outcomes. At baseline, post-WL, post-treatment, and 6-month, and 12-month follow-up assessments, participants completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 to measure emotional distress, and the abbreviated Dyadic Adjustment Scale.
Outcomes did not change during the WL period. Of 115 couples that were randomized to FF or WEB1 and 71 couples in the WEB2 group, 34% dropped out. Neither drop-outs nor improvements in outcomes differed significantly between the 3 treatment groups. In a linear mixed-model analysis that included all participants, mean ± standard deviation IIEF scores improved significantly across time (baseline, 29.7 ± 17.9; 12 months, 36.2 ± 22.4; P < .001). FSFI scores also improved significantly (baseline, 15.4 ± 8.5; 12 months, 18.2 ± 10.7; P = .034). Better IIEF scores were associated with finding an effective medical treatment for ED and normal female sexual function at baseline. In the WEB2 group, IIEF scores improved significantly more in men who completed >75% of the intervention.
An internet-based sexual counseling program for couples was as effective as a brief, traditional sex therapy format in producing enduring improvements in sexual outcomes after prostate cancer. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.