Background: The initial impact of treatments for men with prostate cancer is well reported in the literature. Less is known about the psychosocial needs of these men as their journey after diagnosis and treatment continues into the months and years.
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine and understand the supportive care needs of men diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer at key identifiable periods of their cancer journey.
Methods: An international Web-based survey was conducted in 2012, investigating mens prostate cancer pathways. The survey was based on substantial qualitative research and assessed for validity and reliability before piloting. To provide a unique insight into men living with prostate cancer, the views of partners were also elicited.
Results: Completed questionnaires were obtained from 193 men and 40 partners from 6 nations. The physical and psychosocial impact of treatment and need for support varied along the cancer journey. Fear, distress, loss, regret, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, changes in sexuality, masculinity, and relationships were also described by both men and partners as adverse effects of the diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer.
Implications for Practice: Findings suggest that wives and partners of men with prostate cancer can provide nurses and healthcare authorities with a powerful and unique resource in providing supportive care for men who are challenged by prostate cancer.
Conclusions: Wives and partners are a key psychosocial support to men with prostate cancer. They may also provide valuable insight into mens supportive care needs that men are often unable to recognize themselves.
- Cancer journey
- Prostate cancer
- Supportive careUnmet needs