Effectiveness of a couple-based psychosocial intervention on patients with prostate cancer and their partners: A quasi-experimental study

Aims: To understand the effectiveness of a couple-based psychosocial information package (PIP) and multimedia psychosocial intervention (MPI) on patients with prostate cancer and their partners.

Design: A random assignment and quasi-experimental design were used.

Methods: From August 2015-March 2018, 103 newly diagnosed patients with prostate cancer and their partners were divided into a control group (CG) (N = 50), PIP group (N = 25) and MPI group (N = 28). The CG received usual care, the PIP group received information manuals and telephone counselling for 6-week and the MPI group received multimedia films and manuals and professional support for 6 weeks. The three groups were posttested 6, 10, 18 and 24 weeks after the pre-test. The outcome measurements included disease appraisals, emotion status, relationship satisfaction, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and satisfaction with MPI.

Results/findings: Partners in the MPI and PIP groups experienced significant improvements in positive and negative affect or mental HRQOL as compared with the CG. The effectiveness of MPI and PIP on negative affect, mental HRQOL, however, were not statistically significant in patients with prostate cancer. Nevertheless, patients were satisfied with the MPI.

Conclusion: Nurses can provide different types of interventions for partners, depending on personal preferences and available resources.

Impact: There is a lack of studies that focus on the effectiveness of couple-based psychosocial intervention on both the patients with prostate cancer and their partners in Asia. Partners in the multimedia psychosocial intervention group and psychosocial information package group experienced improvements in positive affect, negative affect or health-related quality of life as compared with the control group. Patients in both intervention groups experienced similar negative affect and health-related quality of life as compared with the control group. The couple-based psychosocial interventions can be provided by nurses based on partners’ preferences and available resources.

Keywords: couple; intervention; marital satisfaction; multimedia; negative affect; nurses; positive affect; prostatic neoplasms; psychology; quality of life.