Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Objectives: Qualitative studies nested within clinical trials can provide insight into the treatment experience, how this evolves over time and where improved supportive care is required. The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe the lived experiences of men with advanced prostate cancer participating in the TheraP trial; a randomised trial of 177Lu-PSMA-617 compared with cabazitaxel chemotherapy. Methods: Fifteen men with advanced prostate cancer were recruited from the TheraP clinical trial with interviews conducted at three timepoints during the trial. An interpretative phenomenological approach was used, and interviews analysed using thematic analysis. This research paper reports the results from the mid-point, conclusion and follow up interviews, focusing specifically on participants' experiences of trial participation. Results: Three themes were identified representing the lived experiences of men with advanced prostate cancer participating in the TheraP trial: (1) facing limited options; (2) anticipating outcomes and (3) coping with health changes. Conclusions: Men who enrol in clinical trial of anti-neoplastic treatments for prostate cancer need targeted psychological and supportive care that includes attention to unique aspects of the experience of having prostate cancer and being in a clinical trial. As part of their trial experience, men with advanced prostate cancer need to be regularly assessed for survivorship needs, fully informed, supported and referred to services for regular care and support across the trajectory of their disease. Trial registration: NCT03392428. Registered on 8 January 2018 (ANZUP1603).
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