Development of an explanatory model of sexual intimacy following treatment for localised prostate cancer: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence.

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer in men, affecting one in eight. An ageing population coupled with increased testing indicates that the incidence of early-stage prostate cancer is rising rapidly. Treatments are effective, but all can result in chronic sexual side effects and impact on the psychological, emotional and relational components of sexual functioning. Whilst the physical consequences of treatment are well documented, we lack a comprehensive picture of the effects of localised prostate cancer treatment on men's experience of sexual intimacy and how this may affect survivorship and recovery.

This study synthesises the qualitative literature related to men's experience of sexual intimacy in the context of localised prostate cancer.

A systematic search strategy identified 12 studies, which were assessed using a modified version of the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Using Noblit and Hare's (1988) approach, a meta-synthesis was conducted.

Findings are organised within four inter-related themes that form the basis of a new conceptual explanatory model: (i) Loss and grief: Destroyed intimacy; (ii) Going through the motions: Artificial intimacy; (iii) Fear of failure: Avoiding intimacy and (iv) Breaking barriers: Constructing an alternative intimacy.

The LMAC (Loss, Motions, Avoidance and Construction) model provides a new way of conceptualising sexual recovery following prostate cancer treatment and opportunities for health care professionals to support men and their partners.

Social science & medicine (1982). 2016 Jul 04 [Epub ahead of print]

Samantha R Tucker, Susan A Speer, Sarah Peters

School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. Electronic address: ., School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. Electronic address: ., School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. Electronic address: .