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Distress is a prevalent unaddressed experience for men with prostate cancer. Treatments for prostate cancer can cause urinary, bowel, sexual and body-image problems; with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis these can ultimately affect emotional well-being and quality-of-life. Distress is characterised by depression, anxiety and/or poor social adjustment; left unsupported, these conditions can affect the course of disease and men?s engagement with health services. Health practitioners do not readily identify mental health problems in these men. Vulnerability and physical constraints often make it difficult for men to seek help, and urological services are currently stretched in providing psychological support for men with prostate cancer. In response to user requests for support and peer contact, we aim to test the feasibility of a self-referral, on-line programme to help men reduce distress after diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer. The programme offers techniques to help men think differently about their problems and apply emotional, practical and physical skills to improve symptoms. Four weekly sessions will be facilitated on-line by a NHS mental health practitioner and contain motivational films, peer chat and one-to-one contact with the practitioner if required. We will recruit 60 men who are experiencing distress. GP practices in NHS West Sussex will identify and contact men who will self-refer, be screened and assessed on-line. Our aim is to learn how viable and practical the programme is and to identify the key issues that must be addressed in a subsequent trial in primary care. We will also measure the prevalence of distress among these men and examine the extent of change in distress over the course of the study. The programme can be offered through GP consortia and delivered within existing mental health initiatives. It will provide accessible, tailored support to meet individual needs and cost benefit for health care services.
- Prostate Cancer
Common Scientific Outline (CSO) Research Areas
- 6.1 Cancer Control, Survivorship and Outcomes Research Patient Care and Survivorship Issues