Research Project Abstracts
Preliminary results from a novel psychosocial program for men with prostate cancer
Principal InvestigatorI: Daniel Monti, MD
Grant Period: 2004-2005
Introduction: There is a large body of evidence that psychosocial interventions for cancer patients can have a beneficial effect on health outcomes, reduce stress and improve quality of life. The majority of this research has been done with women. We report on a pilot investigation of a support intervention called Constructive Tools Program (CTP) for men with prostate cancer. Within a supportive group model, CTP integrates the core curriculum of a systematized stress reduction program with specific non-verbal, expressive tasks. The three main components of the program have been described and documented in the literature in other populations, both as separate modalities and in combination with one another.
Presentation: This topic was presented as a poster at the ASCO (American Society for Clinical Oncology) Prostate Cancer Symposium, Orlando, FL, February 22-4, 2007.
Methods: Forty-two men with prostate cancer were recruited to this IRB-approved trial of CTP. Participants were beyond four months and within two years of an initial diagnosis or recurrence, and they had a mean age of 62 years. The CTP intervention consisted of eight consecutive two and one half hour weekly meetings. The following valid and reliable measures were administered pre and post intervention: SCL-90-R, global severity index (GSI) (to assess psychological distress) and FACT-G (to assess quality of life).
Results: Thirty-one participants completed the trial and provided pre and post experimental data; hence, the retention rate was approximately 74%. For all measures, differences (week 8 value – week 1 value) were analyzed using a paired T-test. The differences were approximately normally distributed. Magnitude of effect on the SCL-90-R (GSI) was 1.008, p < .001. The anxiety and depression subscales of the SCL-90-R also were significantly improved (p < .01). Similarly, the overall score on the FACT-G was significantly improved (p = .01).
Conclusions: The results of this pilot study provide positive data on the feasibility of CTP as a potential psychosocial support program for men with prostate cancer. The pre/post outcome data is encouraging, especially in regard to changes in distress levels. A RCT is a necessary next step to further evaluate this novel intervention.