Background: Recent literature has indicated that a significant percentage of oncology patients describe finding some benefit (e.g., improved personal growth, sense of meaning, and enhanced interpersonal relationships) in the cancer experience. However, few studies have investigated the role of group-based psychosocial interventions in improving benefit finding (BF), and virtually none have investigated these constructs in men.
Purpose: This study examined whether a cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention improves BF and quality of life (QoL) in men recovering from treatment for localized prostate cancer.
Methods: Participants in this study were 191 men (M age = 65.1) treated with radiation or radical prostatectomy for clinically localized (i.e., Stage I or II) prostate cancer. Participants were primarily non-Hispanic White (40%) or Hispanic (41%), followed by Black (18%) and other ethnicity (1%), were an average of 65.1 years old (SD = 7.7), and earned an average of 47,800 US dollars annually (SD = 41,000 US dollars). Participants were randomized to either a 10-week group-based cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention or a half-day educational seminar as a control condition. All participants provided demographic information and completed the Positive Contributions Scale-Cancer to assess BF, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy to measure quality of life, and a measure of perceived stress management skills. Structural equation modeling was utilized for all analyses.
Results: Results indicated that the CBSM condition led to increases in BF and QoL and that these changes were mediated by the development of stress management skills.
Conclusions: Results support the use of group-based cognitive-behavioral interventions in promoting QoL and BF in this population.