Self-management for men surviving prostate cancer: a review of behavioural and psychosocial interventions to understand what strategies can work, for whom and in what circumstances

Psychooncology. 2010 Sep;19(9):909-22. doi: 10.1002/pon.1657.


Objective: In the context of increasing prostate cancer survivorship, evidence of unmet supportive care needs and growing economic health-care restraints, this review examined and evaluated best approaches for developing self-management programmes to meet men's survivorship needs.

Methods: A search of international literature published in the last 12 years was conducted. Only randomised controlled trials were included in the analysis. Key components of the interventions were evaluated to determine what has been offered, and which elements are most beneficial in improving health outcomes. Methodological issues were also considered.

Results: Targeting participant need and promoting motivation to participate and maintain programme adherence were the most important factors to emerge in ensuring positive health outcomes. Both need and motivation are multi-faceted, the components of which are identified and evaluated. Guidance was also identified in relation to delivery design, theoretical mechanisms for change, modes of delivery and facilitator issues.

Conclusion: Self-management is a viable and appropriate way of providing health-care solutions to ameliorate men's functional and emotional problems associated with increased prostate cancer survivorship. Integration into clinical practice will require training, resources and commitment and, in addition, economic viability will be difficult to assess since cost comparison with current provision is not straightforward. Nevertheless, from the psychosocial and behavioural studies reviewed there is convincing evidence that can be used to design, implement and evaluate future self-management programmes for men surviving prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / rehabilitation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology*