Psychological adjustment of survivors of localised prostate cancer: investigating the role of dyadic adjustment, cognitive appraisal and coping style

Psychooncology. 2007 Nov;16(11):994-1002. doi: 10.1002/pon.1159.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the factors that contribute to psychological adjustment in prostate cancer patients two or more years post-treatment.

Method: One hundred and sixty-seven men who had undergone treatment for localised prostate cancer participated in this study. In the sample 63 participants had undergone external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), 55 radical prostatectomy (RP), 27 EBRT plus hormone therapy (EBRT/HT), and the remainder a combination of treatments. Patients completed the UCLA-PCI, the POMS, CISS, DAS and a threat appraisal questionnaire.

Results: The majority of patients reported relatively positive adjustment in most domains except sexual functioning. For those who reported ongoing psychological difficulty mood disturbance was associated with sexual bother, dyadic adjustment, threat appraisal, self-efficacy appraisal and emotion-focussed coping. Lower levels of urinary bother were associated with the use of more task-focussed coping. Emotion-focussed coping and threat appraisal mediated the relationship between sexual bother and mood disturbance. Emotion-focussed coping moderated the influence of dyadic adjustment on mood disturbance.

Conclusions: Dyadic adjustment, threat appraisal and coping style play a significant role in the long-term psychological adjustment of prostate cancer patients. The results of the current study indicate that the use of emotion-focussed coping to manage sexual bother appears to result in poor psychological adjustment, which indicates the need for further education or intervention to manage sexual dysfunction. ETHICS CLEARANCE: Human ethics approval was granted from Southern Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Monash University Ethics Committee before commencement of data collection.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept*
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Urination Disorders / etiology
  • Urination Disorders / psychology
  • Victoria