Emil Chowdhury, Thomas Horrocks, Gareth McAteer, David Gillanders

Examining the impact of androgen deprivation therapy, masculine self‐esteem, and psychological flexibility on distress and quality of life in men with prostate cancer

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Oncology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

AbstractObjectiveStudies suggest that androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) exacerbates psychological and quality of life (QoL) issues associated with prostate cancer (PCa). However, quantitative research examining underlying psychosocial mechanisms for this is limited. We examined the association of PCa symptoms with distress and QoL in ADT‐treated and ADT‐naïve patients, and the influence of masculine self‐esteem and psychological flexibility (PF) on these relationships.MethodsSecondary analysis of a quantitative, cross‐sectional survey of 286 PCa patients. Independent samples t‐tests, moderation, and conditional process analysis were used to assess relationships between predictor, mediator, moderator, and outcome variables.ResultsADT was associated with greater PCa symptomology, lower masculine self‐esteem, and lower QoL. Moderation analysis showed that ADT potentiated adverse impacts of PCa symptomology on distress and QoL. High PF attenuated these relationships, though less so for ADT‐treated participants. Conditional process analysis showed that masculine self‐esteem mediated the predictive effect of symptoms on distress across treatments. However, ADT did not moderate this indirect effect, nor was moderation conditional on PF.ConclusionPF appears to: (1) attenuate psychological distress in ADT patients; and (2) improve distress, QoL, and masculine self‐esteem in ADT‐naïve patients. Interventions targeting PF may thus be a viable adjunct to established approaches. However, their effects may be comparatively limited in ADT patients, who may benefit from more intensive and tailored treatment.

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