The Prostate Cancer Journey: Results of an Online Survey of Men and their Partners. (#188)
Background: The impact of initial treatments for men with prostate cancer, are well reported in the literature. Less is known about the psycho-social needs of these men, as their journey post diagnosis and treatment, continues into the months and years.
Objective: To examine and understand the supportive care needs of men diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer at key identifiable periods of their cancer journey.
Method: An international web-based survey was conducted in 2012, investigating men’s prostate cancer pathways. The survey was based on substantial qualitative research, and assessed for validity and reliability before piloting. To provide a unique insight into men living with prostate cancer, the views of partners were also elicited.
Results: Completed questionnaires were obtained from 193 men and 40 partners from six nations. The physical and psycho-social impact of treatment, and need for support varied along the cancer journey. Fear, distress, loss, regret, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, changes in sexuality, masculinity and relationships were also described by both men and partners, as side effects of the diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer.
Conclusions: Wives and partners are a key psycho-social support to men with prostate cancer. They may also provide valuable insight into men’s supportive care needs, that men are often unable to recognize themselves.
Implications for practice: Findings suggest that wives and partners of men with prostate cancer can provide nurses and health care authorities with a powerful and unique resource in providing supportive care for men who are challenged by prostate cancer.