INTRODUCTION - Prostate cancer affects a growing number of men. Although erectile dysfunction is a well-known side effect, its impact on sex life and sexuality is under-researched.
PURPOSE - The aim of this study was therefore to elucidate the effect of surgical treatment for prostate cancer on men's sexuality.
METHODS - Data for the descriptive qualitative study were collected in interviews. The author applied a phenomenological-hermeneutic frame of understanding.
RESULTS - Four themes appeared in the analysis of the interviews: lack of control, sense of self, intimate relations and redefining sexuality.
CONCLUSION - Men experience erectile dysfunction as a negative influence on their sexuality with respect to their sex life, sense of self and intimate relations. The dysfunction is thus shown not only to affect sexual life but also to have repercussions for a range of aspects in male intimate life. A broader perspective should be applied in supporting the men's efforts towards improving their quality of life, for example through sexual counselling services performed by nurses.
Scandinavian journal of caring sciences. 2016 Apr 14 [Epub ahead of print]
Birgitte Schantz Laursen
Centre for Sexology Research, Aalborg University & Clinical Nursing Research Unit, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.