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In the middle and on the sideline: The experience of spouses of men with prostate cancer
Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Care Sciences, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway.
Department of Clinical Medicine (Dr Nordøy), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Norway.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Nursing Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Cancer Nursing, ISSN 0162-220X, E-ISSN 1538-9804, Vol. 36, no 3, E7-E14 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Spouses play an important role in how well patients with prostate cancer manage their illness. Whereas earlier studies mostly included both patients and spouses, this study focuses on the spouses' experiences during the course of the illness. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore how the daily life of female spouses is affected by their husband's prostate cancer. METHODS: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 9 spouses of men receiving potential curative treatment for prostate cancer. RESULTS: Prostate cancer in men had significant impact on spouses' everyday life. The results showed that spouses strived to achieve a balance between focusing on their own needs and meeting their husbands' needs along the course of the illness. Four themes emerged: strong and optimistic versus vulnerable and overstrained, maintaining the partner's sense of manhood, being on the sideline, and the need for relationships outside the immediate family. CONCLUSION: Being a spouse to a man with prostate cancer is emotionally and practically demanding. There is a danger of the spouses suppressing their own needs in the process of supporting their husbands. Those spouses living in the situation over a period of years expressed fatigue and a shift in focus from their husbands' needs to their own needs for support. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Healthcare providers should provide support for spouses during the course of the illness, encourage spouses to participate in seminars for couples living with prostate cancer, and be aware of the potential for situational fatigue in spouses many years after the diagnosis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 36, no 3, E7-E14 p.
Keyword [en]
Cancer, Cancer prostate, Caregivers, Daily life, Dealing with everyday life, Experience, Hermeneutic, Partner, Phenomenology, Qualitative, Sexuality, Spouse
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18972DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31824fe1efISI: 000318266700002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84877050142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-18972DiVA: diva2:622657
Note

:doi 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31824fe1ef

Available from: 2013-05-22 Created: 2013-05-22 Last updated: 2013-06-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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