Journal Article


Loss of self, function, connection and control: Understanding psychological distress in prostate cancer survivors : A qualitative exploration

Abstract

Purpose: To explore the experiences of men with prostate cancer identified as having psychological distress and to identify factors influencing distress. Participants and setting: 28 men with prostate cancer diagnosed 18-42 months earlier, identified as having psychological distress on survey measures. Methodologic approach: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis using a Framework approach was used. Findings: Men with psychological distress had strong perceptions of ‘loss’ towards a) self (identity, sexuality/masculinity, self-confidence), b) function (physical, activities), c) connection (relational, social, community) and d) control (future, emotional). Psychological vulnerability appeared heightened in particular groups of men. Maladaptive strategies of emotional concealment, help-seeking avoidance and withdrawal appeared to contribute to distress. Implications for nursing: Distress in men with prostate cancer is multifaceted. Men with distress should be identified and offered support. Nursing and/or peer-led interventions are required. Knowledge Translation: 1. A significant minority of men with prostate cancer report distress 18-42 months following diagnosis. Screening tools for psychological difficulties may help identify men in need of further support. 2. The author’s conceptual model highlights pre-existing and treatment related factors, as well as maladaptive coping strategies influencing distress. Greater support with restoring self-identity and confidence is needed. 3. Nurse-led patient education and information on managing psychological and physical concerns, as well as sign-posting to peer support, community or online support groups is required.



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Authors

Matheson, Lauren
Nayoan, Jo
Rivas, Carol
Brett, Jo
Wright, Penny
Butcher, Hugh
Gavin, Anna
Glaser, Adam
Watson, Eila
Wagland, Richard

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

Dates

Year: Not yet published.



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