Psychological aspects of active surveillance

Eimear Ruane-McAteer*, Gillian Prue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



The objective of this paper was to discuss the psychological impact of active surveillance (AS) for prostate cancer (PCa) and the resulting implications of psychological wellbeing for treatment decision making and acceptance of AS protocols.


Qualitative and quantitative research in the area of anxiety, depression, and distress is discussed drawing from PCa literature as well other health conditions from which parallels can be drawn.


Attention is given to the role of the clinician in treatment decision making, including the value of information provision, and perceived trust in the AS as a management approach.


Given that research is conflicted regarding the psychological impact of AS for PCa, it is suggested that focus shifts away from debate of the ‘true’ experience of AS rather researchers and clinicians should seek to identify the factors associated with positive and negative psychological response to diagnosis and AS to improve psychological and physical outcomes. Recommendations for clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Early online date03 Jan 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Active surveillance
  • Anxiety
  • Coping
  • Distress
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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