BACKGROUND: A prostate cancer diagnosis affects the patient and his spouse.
Partners of cancer patients are often the first to respond to the demands related to their husband's illness and thus are likely to be the most supportive individuals available to the patients. It is therefore important to examine how spouses react and handle their husband's prostate cancer diagnosis.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore how the prostate cancer diagnosis and the participation in their partners' behavioral lifestyle intervention program influenced the spouses' life, their relationship with their partner, and how they handle the situation.
METHODS: Interviews were recorded with 8 spouses of potential low-risk prostate cancer patients on active surveillance as part of a clinical self-management lifestyle trial.
RESULTS: We identified 3 phases that the spouses went through: feeling insecure about their situation, coping strategies to deal with these insecurities, and feeling reassured.
CONCLUSIONS: The framework of a clinical trial should include mobilizing spousal empowerment so that they can take on an active and meaningful role in relation to their husband's disease. The observations here substantiate that the framework of active surveillance in combination with a lifestyle intervention in 1 specific prostate cancer clinical trial can mobilize spousal empowerment.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Creating well-designed clinical patient programs that actively involve the spouse appears to promote empowerment (meaningfulness, self-efficacy, positive impact, and self-determination) in spouses. Spousal participation in clinical patient programs can give spouses relief from anxieties while recognizing them as a vital support for their husband.
Rossen S, Hansen-Nord NS, Kayser L, Borre M, Borre M, Larsen RG, Trichopoulou A, Boffetta P, Tjønneland A, Hansen RD. Are you the author?
Diet, Genes and Environment, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen; Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Urology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University; Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Aarhus University Hospital; Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen; Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University; and Active Institute, Aarhus, Denmark; World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nutrition, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece; Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.
Reference: Cancer Nurs. 2015 May 15. Epub ahead of print.