Developing an online psychological support intervention for partners of men with prostate cancer (#89)
The objective of this study was to firstly establish the psychosocial support needs of partners of men with prostate cancer and to use this information to develop an internet based support program for these partners which aims to:
1) Improve the mental health status of partners of men with prostate cancer
2) Improve the relationship between the partner and the man with prostate cancer including their communication techniques, intimacy and sexual relationship
The purpose of phase one was to conduct a series of focus group discussions in order to refine the functionality and content of the online psychological support program. Phase two involved pilot testing of the developed online program. The experience of depression and anxiety of participants utilising the developed online intervention was assessed utilizing the GAD-7 and the PHQ-9. Relationship function, satisfaction and communication styles were assessed using the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale and the communication patterns questionnaire (short-form) (CPQSF). Emotional wellbeing was assessed using the Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF).
Seventeen partners participated in the phase one focus groups. Themes identified included the emotional impact on the partner, the way in which communication difficulties impacted emotionally and on the quality of the relationship and the need for support in managing the impact of prostate cancer on the intimate relationship. The feasibility of the online program as well as the functionality, accessibility and appropriateness of the content will be explored as well as pilot data exploring the impact of the program on quality of life, mood, relationship satisfaction and communication between partners will be discussed.
This novel online psychological intervention for partners of men with prostate cancer could provide a way in which support can be delivered to the majority of these partners despite geographic location.