Do Men with Prostate Cancer and their Partners Receive the Information and Support they Need for Optimal Illness Self-Management? (#154)
Aims: The study investigated whether men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their partners were receiving the information and support they need to address their core concerns in the early post-diagnostic phase.
Methods: As part of a randomised controlled trial 42 couples completed a survey including measures of information seeking and psychosocial needs and were interviewed on four occasions, starting at the time of recruitment and every fortnight thereafter to discuss the challenges they faced, their coping responses and the information they had sought. Quantitative and qualitative thematic analyses were performed to examine the core concerns, types of information accessed, and satisfaction with the information received for both men with prostate cancer and their partners, and to ascertain if there were any differences between couple members.
Results: Both men with prostate cancer and their partners expressed that psychosocial issues, such as managing emotions, losing control, and self-management of symptoms, were their key concerns. While men with prostate cancer felt they had received adequate information regarding accessing support services (M = 7.33, SD = 3.09) and self-management (M = 2.20, SD = .98), their partners reported receiving significantly less information about support services (M = 5.97, SD = 2.23, p = .03) and assisting their partner to self-manage their illness (M = 1.72, SD = .92, p = .03). Partners also reported less satisfaction with the information their received overall (Partner M = 2.77, SD = .87, Patient M = 3.26, SD = .68, p = .007).
Conclusions: Couples reported that they had received adequate medical information regarding prostate cancer; however, their broader psychosocial concerns, especially for partners, were not always addressed. Where possible, health care professionals working with men with prostate cancer should endeavour to ensure that the information needs of both patients and partners are met.