(NEWARK, N.J., March 29, 2007) Two Rutgers College of Nursing faculty members are conducting a study to develop and test a targeted intervention to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients undergoing prostate cancer treatment.
The $162,000 study, funded by National Institutes of Health, will develop, for the first time, self-care behaviors that may be used by men undergoing prostate cancer treatment. The two-year study will be conducted by Lucille Sanzero Eller, associate professor, and Elise Lev, associate professor, at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
There has not been a definitive study on what types of self-care strategies these men can use for management of physical symptoms such as urinary and bowel incontinence and psychological symptoms such as depression, said Eller, a Cedar Grove, N.J. resident.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Improved diagnosis and treatment have led to increased survival rates, said Lev, a Stamford, CT resident. However survival is marred by physical and psychological symptoms that can result in poor quality of life. Self-care interventions that will be designed to address these symptoms have the potential to improve the quality of life in men with prostate cancer.
Sixty men undergoing prostate cancer treatment at Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, N.J. will be recruited for the study. The study will be conducted in three phases. In the first phase, focus groups will be held with men who have undergone prostate cancer treatment. The men will be asked how they managed symptoms while they underwent treatment.
In the second phase of the study, the intervention, which will include a video tape and a symptom management booklet outlining self-care strategies, will be developed based on focus group data. In the third and final phase of the study the self-care symptom management strategies will be tested in a group of men undergoing prostate cancer treatment and compared with a control group.
From its headquarters at Rutgers Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a masters program with unique practitioner specialties and the first to offer a doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.