The experiences of prostate cancer survivors: changes to physical function and its impact on quality of life

Michael, Christine and Barnett, Fiona and Gray, Marion (2016) The experiences of prostate cancer survivors: changes to physical function and its impact on quality of life. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 23 (7). pp. 323-330. ISSN 1741-1645


Background/Aims: Quality of life plays a major role in prostate cancer research in relation to outcomes of treatment. Most studies conducted on patients with prostate cancer have used standardised psychometric instruments to evaluate the impact of treatment; few studies have taken an in-depth qualitative approach. There has been little consideration of the ways in which the prostate cancer experience impacts on daily life. The aim of this research was to understand the experience of prostate cancer survivors in relation to physical function and its impact on quality of life.

Method: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted using seven participants who ranged in age from 44 to 80 years. Participants had received varying prostate cancer treatments and were between 3 months and over 7 years post-diagnosis.

Results: Three main themes emerged: loss of masculinity, loss of control over daily activities, and age-specific perspectives. Changes to physical function included impotence, incontinence, fatigue and lymphoedema. Losses were multifaceted, leading to changes in self-perception, reduced participation in daily activities and a decreased quality of life.

Conclusion: The impact of prostate cancer and its treatment led to decreased quality of life and desire to live. Identified changes in physical function and psychological wellbeing in prostate cancer patients highlighted the significance of younger men with prostate cancer, and their experience.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 02:19
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2022 02:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: multidisciplinary, patient experience, physical function, prostate cancer, quality of life, supportive care, Clinical Sciences
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320299 Clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520302 Clinical psychology
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.12968/ijtr.2016.23.7.323

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