Reducing Distress after Prostate Cancer
Men Seek Peer Support Via Web-Based Program
When it comes to dealing with life after prostate cancer, a “manly,” stoic approach is likely just an emotional stopgap. As Sigmund Freud said, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.“
Getting Down to Coping is a web-based program that provides self-guided cognitive-behavioral therapy with filmed peer support and chat room facilitation. The authors, who published their results in JMR Cancer, noted, ”Men’s engagement with psychological support is frequently restrained: reticence to communicate and delays in presenting to clinicians are underpinned by fears of stigmatization and the desire to normalize their illness experience by not needing help.”
The study participants were pleased with the program overall and felt it covered issues they had trouble discussing. In particular, the patients appreciated information given to them via links, which allowed them to control the quantity and timing of the information they received. The authors reported adherence rates from the two phases of the study ranged from 63 to 100% and noted participants felt more confident in their ability to cope with prostate cancer symptoms.