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Abstract

Urinary and sexual dysfunctions are side effects of radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer (PC) that contribute to depression. Despite the effectiveness of support groups at reducing depression in cancer patients, men typically do not participate in them. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the effects of a dyadic intervention (one-to-one support) on social support (Modified Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors), self-efficacy (Stanford Inventory of Cancer Patient Adjustment), and depression (Geriatric Depression Scale). Subjects were randomized to group. Controls (N=15; Mage=59.7) received usual care. Experimentals were paired with long-term survivors (LTS) who had RP and who had treatment side effects in common. Experimentals (N=15; Mage=57.5) met with a LTS 8 times in 8 weeks to discuss concerns associated with survivorship. No significant differences were detected on social support, but after 4 weeks, significant differences were present on depression between controls and experimentals, however these differences were not seen at 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, there were also significant differences on self-efficacy between controls and experimentals. Weekly anecdotal data supported the feasibility and acceptance of the intervention that was a low cost strategy effective at reducing depression and increasing self-efficacy in men treated by RP. Future research directions and clinical application is presented. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.