Intimacy-Enhancing Psychological Intervention for Men Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and Their Partners: A Pilot Study

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Section of Population Studies, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
Journal of Sexual Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 04/2011; 8(4):1197-209. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02163.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Few couple-focused interventions have been developed to improve distress and relationship outcomes among men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and their partners.
We examined the effects of a five-session Intimacy-Enhancing Therapy (IET) vs. Usual Care (UC) on the psychological and relationship functioning of men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and their partners. Pre-intervention levels of psychological and relationship functioning were evaluated as moderators of intervention effects.
Seventy-one survivors and their partners completed a baseline survey and were subsequently randomly assigned to receive five sessions of IET or UC (no treatment). Eight weeks after the baseline assessment, a follow-up survey was administered to survivor and partner.
Distress, well-being, relationship satisfaction, relationship intimacy, and communication were investigated as the main outcomes.
IET effects were largely moderated by pre-intervention psychosocial and relationship factors. Those survivors who had higher levels of cancer concerns at pretreatment had significantly reduced concerns following IET. Similar moderating effects for pre-intervention levels were reported for the effects of IET on self-disclosure, perceived partner disclosure, and perceived partner responsiveness. Among partners beginning the intervention with higher cancer-specific distress, lower marital satisfaction, lower intimacy, and poorer communication, IET improved these outcomes.
IET had a marginally significant main effect upon survivor well-being but was effective among couples with fewer personal and relationship resources. Subsequent research is needed to replicate these findings with a larger sample and a longer follow-up.


Available from: Gary Winkel, Jun 16, 2015
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