A Psychosocial Model of Care for Men with Prostate Cancer
Psychosocial care is now well accepted as integral to oncology care. The International Standard of Quality Cancer Care developed by the International Psycho-Oncology Society states that quality cancer care must integrate the psychosocial domain into routine care and that distress should be measured as the 6th Vital Sign after temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration and pain.
Several countries have developed clinical practice guidelines and standards to guide such care in adults with cancer. However, to date screening for distress and referral to evidence-based psychosocial care has not yet been systematically implemented in prostate cancer care.
To address this gap the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has developed a Position Statement on Screening for Distress and Psychosocial Care for Men with Prostate Cancer that has been endorsed by the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group, the Australia and New Zealand Urological Nurses Society, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, the Medical Oncology Group of Australia and the European Association of Urology Nurses and Australian Universities currently working in prostate cancer survivorship research.
This initiative will be a game-changer for every Australian man impacted by the disease.
While survival rates for prostate cancer are high, with over 95% of men likely to survive at least five years, the diagnosis of prostate cancer is a major life stress that is often followed by challenging treatment-related symptoms and heightened distress.
Before and after prostate cancer treatment up to one in four men experience anxiety and up to one in five report depression, although few men access the support they need.
To address these challenges, we've developed the Australian first Position Statement on Screening for Distress and Psychosocial Care for Men with Prostate Cancer with the Monograph: A Psychosocial Care Model for Men with Prostate Cancer (Second Edition).
Who developed the Position Statement?
The position statement and monograph were developed by PCFA in conjunction with experts from the NHMRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship.
This project is the culmination of many years of work with experts across clinical and allied health fields, to improve care and support for men affected by the disease.
Why is this so important?
Over many decades we have invested tens of millions towards saving lives and helping more men survive prostate cancer — delivering research breakthroughs, new medicines, and wider access to world-leading treatment.
This is the next frontier in innovative care. Our goal is not just to defeat prostate cancer, but to restore hope in a future free from both physical and psychological pain.
Ultimately, this should result in improved awareness of the daily struggles that accompany prostate cancer survivorship, and much greater regard for each man’s right to enjoy a satisfactory quality of life.
At a practical level, what does it mean?
The Position Statement recommends that clinicians and health professionals apply a new comprehensive Model of Care for men affected by prostate cancer, screening men for distress so that psychological and quality of life concerns can be identified and managed. We’ll be working with policymakers, doctors, nurses, and other specialists to make this new standard of quality care a reality.
Click here to download our Distress Screening Tool.