Men's use of networks to manage communication tensions related to a potential diagnosis of prostate cancer.

This study used relational dialectics theory to explore the communication tensions experienced by men who were on a prostate biopsy waiting list and how they managed these tensions using their communication networks.

The study utilised dialectical analysis of 36 semi-structured interviews conducted from July to September 2012 in a city in the North Island of New Zealand.

Dialectical analysis revealed men experienced four tensions; a) obligation to disclose/autonomy not to disclose; b) confident to help others/vulnerable and needing help from others; c) accept support/not accept support and d) desire for normality/need to tolerate uncertainty. These tensions were predominantly managed by vacillation. Specifically, the men used their communication network to select one pole with some people and the other pole with others to maintain balance between the poles of the dialectical tensions.

Health care professionals can help men in this situation by having a conversation about disclosure and support prior to them being diagnosed, educating men to reframe or connect as a more effective form of tension management, and linking men who have small or ineffective networks to other resources such as social support networks to facilitate tension management.

European journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society 2015 Jun 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Dot Brown, John Oetzel

Management Communication Department, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand Electronic address: drp8@students waikato ac nz , Management Communication Department, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand