An investigation of the support needs of men and partners throughout the prostate cancer journey - Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Prostate cancer is one of the mostly commonly diagnosed cancers in men.

Unfortunately, the treatment for this cancer can have a number of negative side effects, both for the man himself and his partner. This study investigated the support needs of both men and partners throughout the prostate cancer journey and how this journey may be optimally managed.

METHODS: Thirty-one men who had undergone prostate cancer treatment within the last 6 years and 31 partners answered a questionnaire, which explored support care issues as identified in the literature and from focus groups.

RESULTS: Men and partners were moderately satisfied with information given regarding diagnosis, treatment and side effects, but partners were more satisfied with information relating to the particular chosen treatment. Men's understanding of their chosen treatment's potential side effects was significantly different from their understanding of diagnosis, cancer outcome, treatment options and selected treatment. Timing of information delivery was preferred by men at diagnosis, whereas partners preferred after the diagnosis. Men wanted more time to think about the diagnosis and treatment, whereas partners wanted an opportunity to discuss the diagnosis. The management of common side effects such as emotional changes, incontinence and erectile dysfunction was rated as 'somewhat' satisfactory.

CONCLUSION: Men and partners may have different educational and supportive needs throughout the prostate cancer journey that require attention and tailored management.

Written by:
Bobridge A, Bond MJ, Marshall V, Paterson J.   Are you the author?
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University & Repatriation General Hospital, South Australia, Australia.

Reference: Psychooncology. 2014 Aug 13. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1002/pon.3655

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25116753 Prostate Cancer Section


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