Journal Article

The experiences of gay and bisexual men post-prostate cancer treatment: a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies


Studies suggest that gay and bisexual men are affected by the psychological aspects of prostate cancer treatment differently than that of heterosexual men, however the data have not yet been synthesized. The focus of this meta-synthesis is to explore gay and bisexual men’s experiences of prostate cancer post-treatment. Empirical research published in peer reviewed journals between January 1990 and January 2018 were identified in six databases: CINAHL, Cochrane, Medline, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Web of Science. Titles and abstracts were checked by two reviewers. The six studies that met the inclusion criteria were selected and reviewed for quality and the extracted data were then synthesized. The main themes that emerged were sexual impact, physical and psychological difficulties, challenges to intimacy, and support mechanisms. Gay and bisexual men can have specific sexual roles and developing prostate cancer and undergoing treatment may compromise their ability to perform their sexual role. The needs of heterosexual men were perceived to be accommodated more often than that of gay and bisexual men because of engrained heteronormativity in the healthcare system. The review suggests that more support groups specifically for gay and bisexual men should be established, whilst urologists should cater to the sexual and masculine implications of treatment, and not frame problems for gay and bisexual men in heterosexual terms. By failing to address the salient needs and concerns of gay and bisexual men, healthcare professionals are reinforcing invisibility and marginalisation of gay and bisexual men with prostate cancer.

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Alexis, Obrey
Worsley, Aaron James

Oxford Brookes departments

Directorate of Learning Resources\Library
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery\Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-07-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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