There is an increased awareness of the effect of a bladder cancer diagnosis and its treatments on the mental wellbeing of patients. However, few studies have evaluated the efficacy, feasibility and acceptability of interventions to improve this mental wellbeing. This systematic review is the first phase of the Medical Research Council Framework for developing complex interventions and provides an overview of the published mental wellbeing interventions that could be used to design an intervention specific for BC patients.
This review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines in January 2019 and studies were identified by conducting searches for Medline, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Ovid Gateway. All included studies met the following criteria: mental wellbeing interventions of adults with medically confirmed diagnosis of any type of urological cancer, reported outcomes for specific HRQoL domains including psychological factors. The quality of evidence was assessed according to Down and Black 27-item checklist.
A total of 15,094 records were collected from the literature search and 10 studies matched the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Of these, nine interventions were for patients with prostate cancer and one for patients with kidney cancer. No studies were found for other urological cancers. Depression was the most commonly reported endpoint measured. Of the included studies with positive efficacy, three were group interventions and two were couple interventions. In the group interventions, all showed a reduction in depressive symptoms and in the couple interventions, there was a reduction in depressive symptoms and a favourable relationship cohesion. The couple interventions were the most feasible and acceptable, but further research was required for most of the studies.
While awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing in bladder cancer patients is growing, this systematic literature review highlights the gap of feasible and acceptable interventions for this patient population.