What are the unmet supportive care needs of men affected by penile cancer? A systematic review of the empirical evidence

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2020 Oct;48:101805. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2020.101805. Epub 2020 Aug 14.


Purpose: To systematically evaluate evidence regarding the unmet supportive care needs of men affected by penile cancer and their partners to create a holistic model of care and inform clinical practice guidelines.

Methods: We searched CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychINFO, Embase, and the Cochrane Library (CCRT and CDSR) controlled trials databases and clinicaltrial.gov from 1990 to April 2020. This review was reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement.

Results: 18 articles were included, reporting the results from 17 studies. Included reports used qualitative (seven studies) and survey (ten studies). Across these studies, men reported that the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of penile cancer affected physical, psychological and sexual well-being with each facet impacting and being intertwined with the other at varying degrees. There was varying complexity of unmet needs in men and partners pre-surgery, post-surgery and into survivorship.

Conclusions: Moderate evidence exists that men affected by penile cancer experience a range of unmet supportive care needs across the international literature. Further work to evaluate the impact of penile cancer on partners is required.

Keywords: Evidence synthesis; Penile cancer; Supportive care; Systematic review; Unmet needs.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires