This review aimed to systematically evaluate the characteristics of technology-based interventions (TBIs) and their effectiveness on anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with prostate cancer.

We identified eligible research reports published in English language between January 1, 2000, and September 15, 2018, from CINAHL; Embase; “Library and Information Science Abstracts”; “Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts”; “Library and Information Science Source”; PsychINFO; and PubMed. We abstracted randomized control trials and quasi-experimental studies that measured the outcomes related to anxiety, depression, or HRQoL. We extracted the data using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions guideline.

Among the six randomized control trials and four quasi-experimental studies that met our inclusion criteria, the TBIs aimed to provide informational, psychosocial, self-care management, and communication support. About 60-92% of the participants in six studies completed all required contents and 77-94% of the participants in four studies logged onto the TBI platform. Compared with the patients in usual care, the TBI users reported a significant reduction in anxiety (N=1 study) and depression (N=2 studies) and improvement in HRQoL (N=2 studies). We also identified the limitations of the existing TBI trials.

We found insufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of TBIs in improving health outcomes (anxiety, depression, and HRQOL) among patients with prostate cancer. Future research needs to (1) use rigorous randomized control trials, (2) be sufficiently powered to examine the effects of TBIs, and (3) examine how the effect of TBIs on health outcomes vary by actual intervention use, intervention components, and duration.

Psycho-oncology. 2019 Jun 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Yousef Qan’ir, Lixin Song

School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.