Prostate cancer is a major public health issue worldwide and a significant cause of male cancer death in the USA. Though early screening and treatment has greatly enhanced the outcome, men diagnosed with prostate cancer face problems that compromise quality of life after treatment. Online support for prostate cancer clients is a convenient way to help because it is anonymous, inexpensive, and can be used at clients’ convenience. Yet few studies have explored how these supports impact these clients. This study used a longitudinal randomized experimental design to examine the impact of online services on quality of life of prostate cancer patients. 40 men diagnosed with prostate cancer were randomly assigned to either a treatment group or a control group. The treatment group participated in online support group activities for six weeks at Us TOO International website; the control group was given prostate cancer resource kits to read. Using SPSS, repeated measure MANOVA was used to examine outcome variables.

The average age in the sample was 67.2 years (SD 7.6). Most participants were Caucasians, and almost half were Protestants with at least a few years of college education. There were statistically significant differences between the quality of life of the intervention group and control group. From baseline to 6 weeks the intervention group experienced improvements in: urinary irritation and obstruction health, sexual health and hormonal health (i.e., hot flashes, breast tenderness/ enlargement, feeling depressed, lack of energy and change in body weight) but returned to baseline by 8 weeks. There was a drop in six quality of life measures in the control group from baseline to 6 weeks but they recovered by the 8th week to baseline measures. The biggest improvement for the intervention group was on sexual health and hormonal health. The biggest changes occurring in the control group getting worse in quality of life scores with respect to: perceived physical health, urinary irritation and obstruction health, sexual health, hormonal health, life satisfaction and spouse negative characteristics.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jerry W. Lee

Second Advisor

Naomi N. Modeste

Third Advisor

Patricia Pothier

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Prostatic Neoplasms -- therapy; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Self-Help Groups; Quality of Life -- psychology; Family Relations -- psychology; Prostate -- Cancer -- Alternative treatment; Quality of life -- Evaluation; Prostate -- Cancer -- Patients -- Family relationships; Online social networks -- Psychological aspects



Page Count

xii; 156

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives