e-TC: Development and pilot testing of a web-based intervention to reduce anxiety and depression in survivors of testicular cancer  — ASN Events

e-TC: Development and pilot testing of a web-based intervention to reduce anxiety and depression in survivors of testicular cancer  (#88)

Louise Heiniger 1 2 3 , Phyllis N Butow 1 2 3 , Ian Olver 1 2 4 , Peter Grimison 1 2 5 , Allan Ben Smith 1 2 3 , Britt Klein 6 7 , Addie Wootten 1 2 8 9 , Jo-Anne Abbott 10 , Melanie A Price 1 2 3 , Margaret McJannett 1 2 , Ben Tran 2 8 , Martin Stockler 1 2 11 , Howard Gurney 1 2 12
  1. Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. The Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group, Sydney, Australia
  3. Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision-making (CeMPED), School of Psychology, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. Cancer Council Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  5. Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Sydney
  6. DVC-R Portfolio, School of Health Sciences and the Collaborative Research Network, Federation University, Ballarat, VIC
  7. Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
  8. Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  9. Epworth Prostate Centre, Epworth, VIC
  10. Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC
  11. Medical Oncology, Concord Hospital, Concord, NSW
  12. Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW

Aim: Despite a good prognosis, many testicular cancer (TC) survivors report anxiety, depression, unmet needs and fear of recurrence in the longer term1. Barriers to seeking support, such as stigma, geographical remoteness, inconvenience and cost, may be overcome using online interventions1, which have been effectively utilised in other settings and patient groups2. The aim of this study was to develop and pilot test ‘e-TC’, a tailored, online psychosocial intervention targeting anxiety, depression and fear of recurrence in TC survivors.

Methods: e-TC incorporates evidence-based clinical therapies and psychosocial interventions for cancer patients and survivors. Expert advisers, including consumers and clinicians, were involved in an iterative feedback process throughout development. The pilot study will assess feasibility of, and satisfaction with, e-TC in 40 TC survivors who completed active treatment 6months-5years ago. Participants use e-TC for up to 10 weeks, providing feedback on the utility, relevance, simplicity and length of each module and the intervention as a whole. The user’s experience is tailored to their relationship status. At baseline, participants complete the QLQ-TC26 (quality of life), Distress and Impact thermometers (DIT), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Fear of Recurrence Scale (FRS), Duke Social Support Scale (DSS), and Casun Unmet Needs Scale (CASUN). The DIT and HADS are repeated throughout the intervention. Post-intervention, participants complete the QLQ-TC26, HADS, FRS and CASUN.

Results: Twelve participants have been recruited so far. Preliminary feedback about the quality and usefulness of e-TC has been overwhelmingly positive. A detailed overview of the development of e-TC, results of the pilot study and challenges associated with the delivery of this intervention will be reported.

Conclusions: e-TC is an innovative way to make psychosocial support for TC survivors more accessible and to increase the variety of options for managing anxiety, depression and fear of recurrence associated with TC.

  1. Smith et al (2013). The prevalence and correlates of supportive care needs in testicular cancer survivors: a cross-sectional survey. Psycho-Oncology, 22(11), 2557-64.
  2. Wootten et al (2014). My Road Ahead study protocol: a randomised controlled trial of an online psychological intervention for men following treatment for localised prostate cancer. Bmc Cancer, 14(1), 1-9.