A scoping review of the characteristics and benefits of online prostate cancer communities

Pyle, Denise and Perry, Amanda and Lamont-Mills, Andrea and Tehan, Gerry and Chambers, Suzanne K. (2021) A scoping review of the characteristics and benefits of online prostate cancer communities. Psycho-Oncology, 30 (5). pp. 659-668. ISSN 1057-9249


Abstract

Objective
Online prostate cancer communities (OPCaCs) have emerged as a new source of support, not bounded by geographic barriers, for men living with prostate cancer. This scoping review mapped the existing literature to explore the characteristics and benefits of OPCaCs, identify knowledge gaps, and direct future research.

Methods
A six‐step methodological framework for scoping reviews was followed. Four electronic databases were searched for relevant studies. Two authors independently screened titles and abstracts, and full texts, against predefined criteria: empirical research, post 1990, in English‐language peer‐reviewed journals; participants included prostate cancer survivors; and research explored online peer support. Data were extracted from the studies and quality assessed.

Results
The search yielded 905 studies, with 21 selected for synthesis. Despite significant increases in online forum membership, in the last decade, nearly half of the research was conducted over a decade ago. Three studies were rated high quality, the rest moderate. All but one of the studies were observational and cross‐sectional. Men reported that sharing information helped them deal with their diagnosis and treatment side effects. They also gained a sense of camaraderie with men who shared similar experiences. Due to divergent methodologies and reporting standards, assessment regarding OPCaC efficacy is not possible.

Conclusion
OPCaCs may be a cost‐effective and accessible resource for delivering peer support to men living with prostate cancer. While self‐reported evidence as to the benefits of OPCaCs exists, more longitudinal comparative studies, utilising consistent measurement approaches, are needed to support the claims.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 05:48
Last Modified: 18 May 2021 03:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer, cancer survivors, oncology, online social networking, prostatic neoplasms, psycho-oncology, scoping review, self‐help groups, social media, social support
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420302 Digital health
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200504 Men's health
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5618
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40970

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