To examine the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of online supportive care interventions targeting prostate cancer survivors (PCS).
Studies were identified through structured searches of PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO databases, and bibliographic review. Inclusion criteria were (1) examined feasibility, acceptability, or efficacy of an online intervention designed to improve supportive care outcomes for PCS; (2) presented outcome data collected from PCS separately (if mixed cancer); and (3) evaluated efficacy outcomes using randomized controlled trial (RCT) design.
Sixteen studies met inclusion criteria; ten were classified as RCTs. Overall, 2446 men (average age 64 years) were included. Studies reported on the following outcomes: feasibility and acceptability of an online intervention (e.g., patient support, online medical record/follow-ups, or decision aids); reducing decisional conflict/distress; improving cancer-related distress and health-related quality of life; and satisfaction with cancer care.
We found good preliminary evidence for online supportive care among PCS, but little high level evidence. Generally, the samples were small and unrepresentative. Further, inadequate acceptability measures made it difficult to determine actual PCS acceptability and satisfaction, and lack of control groups precluded strong conclusions regarding efficacy. Translation also appears minimal; few interventions are still publicly available. Larger trials with appropriate control groups and greater emphasis on translation of effective interventions is recommended.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
Prostate cancer survivors have a variety of unmet supportive care needs. Using online delivery to improve the reach of high-quality supportive care programs could have a positive impact on health-related quality of life among PCS.