Identifying how and for whom cognitive-behavioral stress management improves emotional well-being among recent prostate cancer survivors

Authors


  • The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Correspondence to: Behavioral Medicine Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, One Bowdoin Square, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02114, USA. E-mail: ltraeger@partners.org

Abstract

Objective

The outcomes of a 10-week cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) group intervention were evaluated in prostate cancer survivors. A model was tested in which CBSM-related improvements in emotional well-being were attained through changes in men's perceptions of their condition, as conceptualized by information processing explanations of self-regulation theory. The model also tested whether life stress and treatment-related side effects moderated intervention effects.

Methods

Men treated for localized prostate cancer (n = 257) within the past 18 months were randomized to CBSM or a half-day psycho-educational seminar. At pre-intervention and 12-week follow-up, emotional well-being, illness perceptions, life stress, and sexual and urinary function were assessed using validated questionnaires.

Results

After controlling for covariates, CBSM participants showed greater improvements in emotional well-being relative to control participants (β = 0.13, p < 0.05). For men reporting higher stress upon study entry, CBSM-related improvements were partially explained by changes in some, but not all, illness perceptions. Sexual and urinary dysfunction did not influence CBSM-related gains.

Conclusions

Prostate cancer perceptions may be an important target for enhancing emotional well-being, particularly for men experiencing general life stress. However, interventions that explicitly target mental representations of cancer may be needed to modify perceptions of the disease. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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