Weber, B.A., Roberts, L., Yarandi, H., Mills, T.L., Chumbler, N.R., & Wajsman, Z. (2007). The impact of dyadic social support on self-efficacy and depression after radical prostatectomy. Journal of Aging & Health, 19(4), 630–645.doi: 10.1177/0898264307300979
To assess the effect of one-on-one peer support on enhancing self-efficacy and decreasing depression in men undergoing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer
A core group of support partners who were prostate cancer survivors were recruited for the study protocol and trained to recognize signs and symptoms of clinical depression, communicate with active listening skills, and record reactions of study participants in a weekly log. One-on-one sessions were held in a private location, without involvement of patient's significant others. Men were randomly assigned to the support intervention or usual care. Support sessions were to be done eight times over an eight-week period. Data were collected at baseline and at four and eight weeks.
Randomized controlled trial
The number of sessions was 1–8. Those in the treatment group had significantly higher self-efficacy (p = 0.005) and lower depression (p = 0.032) at eight weeks. All patients had low depression scores at baseline. There was an 8.6% drop-out rate.
The support intervention provided by trained prostate cancer survivors demonstrated a positive effect on patient self-efficacy and depression scores.
Study findings show a positive effect of one-on-one support among men with prostate cancer when support was provided by prostate cancer survivors who had the same treatments, side effects, and experiences. It has been suggested that men do not tend to participate in support groups, being less inclined to share concerns in a support-group setting. One-on-one pairing, one patient with one individual who has had similar experiences and adjusted well, may be very beneficial to patients.