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Coping Skills Training Groups to Enhance Recovery From Prostate Cancer in African American Men

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Trial Information

Coping Skills Training Groups to Enhance Recovery From Prostate Cancer in African American Men

African American men have higher diagnosis and death rates from prostate cancer than any
other ethnic group. After treatment for prostate cancer, African American men also report
slower recovery, including physical symptoms (e.g., sexual dysfunction, urinary
incontinence) that can persist well beyond the immediate post-treatment period. Despite the
evidence that African American men have poorer outcomes following prostate cancer treatment,
very little is known about how to improve quality of life and enhance recovery in this group
of survivors.

This study will test the effectiveness of an 8-week group intervention for African American
men who have been treated for prostate cancer. The group intervention is based on 1) the
cognitive-behavioral theoretical approach to improving adjustment to cancer and 2)
masculinity theory as it relates to coping strengths and preferences in men. In this group
intervention African American prostate cancer survivors will be taught a variety of coping
skills for managing both the physical and emotional challenges of living with prostate
cancer. The coping skills training groups will consist of 6-8 survivors and will be
conducted in both medical center clinic settings and community settings (e.g., churches).
Each group session will be co-led by an African American psychologist and an African
American male lay person. We will test the effectiveness of this coping skills intervention
for improving survivors' quality of life in 4 areas: 1) distress related to sexual,
urinary, and bowel symptoms; 2) self-confidence for managing symptoms; 3) overall emotional
functioning; and 4) overall physical functioning. The effect of the coping skills group
intervention in these 4 areas will be compared to a comparison intervention in which African
American men will receive basic education about prostate cancer, but will not participate in
coping skills training. The recruitment goal for this project is 154 African American men
treated for early stage prostate cancer.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the coping skills training intervention (i.e., a variety
of coping skills targeting both physical and emotional challenges of prostate cancer), we
expect coping skills training to be significantly more effective than cancer education.
Ultimately, findings from this study could fill a significant gap that exists in the
research literature regarding our understanding of how to help African American men achieve
the fullest possible recovery following prostate cancer treatment.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Diagnosis of early stage, localized prostate cancer (T1-T3)

- Must have received treatment within previous 2 years

- Capable of self-care per Karnofsky Performance Status score of 60+

- African American

- Must have physician who can confirm treatment history

Exclusion Criteria:

- Undergoing primary treatment 2 or more years ago

- Having regional or metastatic prostate cancer at time of screening

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Supportive Care

Outcome Measure:

Symptom distress

Outcome Time Frame:

pretreatment, posttreatment, 3 mo followup

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Francis J Keefe, Ph.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Duke University


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

May 2007

Completion Date:

April 2010

Related Keywords:

  • Prostate Cancer
  • prostate cancer treatment
  • treatment side-effects
  • early diagnosis
  • African American Men
  • coping skills training
  • quality of life
  • Prostate cancer treatment side-effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms



Duke University Medical Center Durham, North Carolina  27710