• cancer;
  • oncology;
  • men;
  • interventions;
  • review


Objectives: The psychosocial impacts of a cancer diagnosis include reduced quality of life, poorer inter-personal relationships, hopelessness and mental illness. Worse outcomes, including mortality rates have been found for single men with cancer compared with women and partnered men. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of post-treatment psychosocial and behaviour change interventions for adult men with cancer, in order to inform the development of an intervention. A focus on single men was intended.

Methods: Ten databases were searched via Ovid and Web of Science. Papers were systematically extracted by title, abstract and full paper according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Full papers were assessed by two authors. Inclusion criteria: participants at any stage of a cancer diagnosis, ⩾50% male and aged 18+; psychosocial and/or behavioural post-treatment interventions, using any format; a one–three level of evidence. Couple/carer/family interventions were excluded.

Results: From 9948 studies initially identified, 11 were finally included in the review. They implemented cognitive behaviour therapy, hypnosis or psychoeducational interventions. All studies had some positive results, however, lack of reporting of intervention content and methodological issues limit the findings. No studies intervened with single men, and none provided comparative outcomes for marital status.

Conclusions: Effectiveness of interventions was difficult to assess as, while all had benefits, their generalisability was limited due to methodological and reporting limitations. Improved reporting procedures are required to allow for replication. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.