Active Surveillance for Favourable-Risk Prostate Cancer: Is there a Greater Psychological Impact than Previously Thought? A Systematic, Mixed Studies Literature Review.

Eimear Ruane-McAteer, Sam Porter, Joseph M O'Sullivan, Olinda Santin, Gillian Prue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
219 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective
Active Surveillance (AS) allows men with favourable-risk prostate cancer (PCa) to avoid or postpone active treatment and hence spares potential adverse side effects for a significant proportion of these patients. Active surveillance may create an additional emotional burden for these patients.

The aim of the review was to determine the psychological impact of AS to inform future study in this area and to provide recommendations for clinical practice.

Methods
Studies were identified through database searching from inception to September 2015. Quantitative or qualitative non-interventional studies published in English that assessed the psychological impact of AS were included. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess methodological quality.

Results
Twenty-three papers were included (20 quantitative, 3 qualitative). Quantitatively, the majority of patients do not report psychological difficulties, however when appropriateness of study design is considered, the conclusion that AS has minimal impact on wellbeing, may not be accurate. This is due to small sample sizes, inappropriately timed baseline, and inappropriate/lack of comparison groups. In addition, a mismatch in outcome was noted between the outcome of quantitative and qualitative studies in uncertainty, with qualitative studies indicating a greater psychological impact.

Conclusions
Due to methodological concerns, many quantitative studies may not provide a true account of the burden of AS. Further mixed-methods studies are necessary to address the limitations highlighted and to provide clarity on the impact of AS. Practitioners should be aware that despite findings of previous reviews, patients may require additional emotional support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsycho-oncology
Early online date15 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 15 Nov 2016

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