Mediation of Self-Efficacy in Patients Experiencing Anxiety, Depression Post-Prostatectomy

By Emily Menendez - May 25, 2022

Patients with prostate cancer oftentimes face negative emotions such as depression and anxiety after surgery. A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus shows that men who undergo surgical removal for localized prostate cancer experience high levels of anxiety and depression when analyzed one year after prostatectomy, with high levels of cancer-specific anxiety associated with poor sexual function and increased depressive symptoms.

Men with high self-efficacy and social support were found less likely to develop depressive symptoms after prostatectomy, showing that social support and self-efficacy are important tools to counter these emotions; however, little is known about the relationship between the two.

A study by Wang L, Luo J, Li Y, et al recruited patients out of a comprehensive hospital in Zhejiang Province, China, and utilized a convenience sampling method, as well as a cross-sectional design to analyze the correlation between social support and self-efficacy in prostate cancer patients after surgery. Scales used for data collection included the Social Support Rating Scale, Strategies Used by People to Promote Health, and the hospital anxiety and depression scale.

The study’s results showed that anxiety and depression were negatively correlated with self-efficacy (r = – 0. 434, P < 0. 01) and social support (r = – 0. 212, P < 0. 01), while self-efficacy and social support were positively correlated (r = 0. 356, P < 0. 01). Through a structural equation model, the effect of social support on self-efficacy was shown to be (β = 0.386, p < 0.01) while the effect value of self-efficacy on negative emotions was (β = – 0.497, p < 0.01). Self-efficacy completely mediated the effect between social support and negative emotions with a 100% mediation rate.

Overall, patients who had received radical prostatectomies had improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms with application of social support and self-efficacy. They were also associated with a full mediating effect of self-efficacy.

Providing social support to those who have undergone radical prostatectomies can maximize the role of social support post-surgery. It is necessary to determine a patient’s specific stressors and coping needs in advance to provide the proper social support; this will alleviate patients’ negative emotions more effectively and improve their prognosis.



Social support, anxiety, and depression in patients with prostate cancer: complete mediation of self-efficacy

Evaluation of the association of prostate cancer-specific anxiety with sexual function, depression and cancer aggressiveness in men 1 year following surgical treatment for localized prostate cancer