In men with prostate cancer, do interventions improve sexual functioning?
No studies specifically addressed this question for men with locally advanced, advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. Neither have ways to help homosexual men and their partners cope sexually after prostate cancer been addressed, which is a further gap in the evidence. One low-quality study of men with localised disease was identified.
Canada et al recruited 84 couples to a randomised controlled trial comparing a couple’s focussed intervention with a patient-only intervention. Patients were men who were survivors of localised prostate cancer previously treated with surgery or radiotherapy. The intervention included sexual education, behavioural homework, sexual communication and stimulation skills. Partner participation did not improve outcomes. Only 61% of participants completed the intervention. This could reflect reduced feasibility, acceptability or efficacy of the intervention. At three months post-intervention, patients who had completed the intervention (counselling) had less overall distress (p<0.01), better global sexual function (p<0.0001) and partners had better global sexual function (p<0.05). A falling off in female sexual function was noted at six months although utilisation of erectile dysfunction aids increased (p<0.003).
In summary, research to date is uninformative about how to assist men with advanced prostate cancer and their intimate partners, male or female, in managing the sexual side effects of treatment.
Evidence summary and recommendations
|No studies were identified that aimed to improve sexual functioning in men with advanced prostate cancer and their partners. One low quality study that specifically targeted sexual functioning in men with localised disease was identified. However, as the effects of hormone therapy are clinically different to those associated with treatment with curative intent, these are not relevant to men with advanced prostate cancer.||II||, |
No recommendations are able to be made about effective ways to improve sexual
adjustment in men with advanced prostate cancer and their female or male partners. Research into effective interventions for men with advanced prostate cancer is needed.
- Canada AL, Neese LE, Sui D, Schover LR. Pilot intervention to enhance sexual rehabilitation for couples after treatment for localized prostate carcinoma. Cancer 2005 Dec 15;104(12):2689-700 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16294343.
- Weber BA, Roberts BL, Resnick M, Deimling G, Zauszniewski JA, Musil C, et al. The effect of dyadic intervention on self-efficacy, social support, and depression for men with prostate cancer. Psychooncology 2004 Jan;13(1):47-60 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14745745.