TrueNTH sexual recovery study protocol: a multi-institutional collaborative approach to developing and testing a web-based intervention for couples coping with the side-effects of prostate cancer treatment in a randomized controlled trial.

Published online

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Over half of men who receive treatment for prostate suffer from a range of sexual problems that affect negatively their sexual health, sexual intimacy with their partners and their quality of life. In clinical practice, however, care for the sexual side effects of treatment is often suboptimal or unavailable. The goal of the current study is to test a web-based intervention to support the recovery of sexual intimacy of prostate cancer survivors and their partners after treatment. METHODS: The study team developed an interactive, web-based intervention, tailored to type of treatment received, relationship status (partnered/non-partnered) and sexual orientation. It consists of 10 modules, six follow the trajectory of the illness and four are theme based. They address sexual side effects, rehabilitation, psychological impacts and coaching for self-efficacy. Each includes a video to engage participants, psychoeducation and activities completed by participants on the web. Tailored strategies for identified concerns are sent by email after each module. Six of these modules will be tested in a randomized controlled trial and compared to usual care. Men with localized prostate cancer with partners will be recruited from five academic medical centers. These couples (N = 140) will be assessed prior to treatment, then 3 months and 6 months after treatment. The primary outcome will be the survivors' and partners' Global Satisfaction with Sex Life, assessed by a Patient Reported Outcome Measure Information Systems (PROMIS) measure. Secondary outcomes will include interest in sex, sexual activity, use of sexual aids, dyadic coping, knowledge about sexual recovery, grief about the loss of sexual function, and quality of life. The impact of the intervention on the couple will be assessed using the Actor-Partner Interaction Model, a mixed-effects linear regression model able to estimate both the association of partner characteristics with partner and patient outcomes and the association of patient characteristics with both outcomes. DISCUSSION: The web-based tool represents a novel approach to addressing the sexual health needs of prostate cancer survivors and their partners that-if found efficacious-will improve access to much needed specialty care in prostate cancer survivorship. TRIAL REGISTRATION: registration # NCT02702453 , registered on March 3, 2016.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wittmann, D; Mehta, A; Northouse, L; Dunn, R; Braun, T; Duby, A; An, L; Arab, L; Bangs, R; Bober, S; Brandon, J; Coward, M; Dunn, M; Galbraith, M; Garcia, M; Giblin, J; Glode, M; Koontz, B; Lowe, A; Mitchell, S; Mulhall, J; Nelson, C; Paich, K; Saigal, C; Skolarus, T; Stanford, J; Walsh, T; Pollack, CE

Published Date

  • October 2, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 664 -

PubMed ID

  • 28969611

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28969611

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2407

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s12885-017-3652-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England