Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

My Road Ahead study protocol: a randomised controlled trial of an online psychological intervention for men following treatment for localised prostate cancer

Addie C Wootten123*, Jo-Anne M Abbott4, Katherine E Chisholm15, David W Austin5, Britt Klein678, Marita P McCabe5, Denny Meyer8, Anthony J Costello123 and Declan G Murphy29

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia

2 Epworth Prostate Centre, Epworth Healthcare, Richmond, VIC, Australia

3 Australian Prostate Cancer Research, East Melbourne, VIC, Australia

4 National eTherapy Centre, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC, Australia

5 Department of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia

6 DVC-R Portfolio & Faculty of Health, Federation University, Ballarat, VIC, Australia

7 Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

8 Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC, Australia

9 Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, VIC, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2014, 14:83  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-83

Published: 11 February 2014



There is a need for psychosocial interventions for men with prostate cancer to promote adaptive coping with the challenges and distress associated with diagnosis, treatment and recovery. In addition, interventions are needed that help to overcome barriers to psychosocial treatment such as limited face-to-face psychosocial support services, a shortage of adequately trained professionals, geographical distance, perceived and personal stigma and a preference for consumer-centric and self-directed learning. My Road Ahead is an online cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) intervention for prostate cancer. This protocol describes a randomised controlled trial (RCT) that will evaluate the efficacy of this online intervention alone, the intervention in combination with a moderated online forum, and the moderated online forum alone.


This study utilises a RCT design with three groups receiving: 1) the 6-module My Road Ahead intervention alone; 2) the My Road Ahead intervention plus a moderated online forum; and 3) the moderated online forum alone. It is expected that 150 men with localised prostate cancer will be recruited into the RCT. Online measures will assess men’s psychological distress as well as sexual and relationship adjustment at baseline, post-intervention, 3 month follow-up and 6 month follow-up. The study is being conducted in Australia and participants will be recruited from April 2012 to Feb 2014. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of My Road Ahead in reducing psychological distress.


To our knowledge, My Road Ahead is the first self-directed online psychological intervention developed for men who have been treated for localised prostate cancer. The RCT will assess the efficacy of this intervention in improving psychological well-being, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction and overall quality of life. If successful, this intervention could provide much needed support to men receiving treatment for localised prostate cancer in a highly accessible manner.

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Identifier: ACTRN12611000278932

Prostate cancer; E-intervention; Online; Therapy; Distress; Men; Web-based; CBT