Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis of Quality of Life in Partners Of Patients with Prostate Cancer


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Abstract

Prostate cancer is perceived as a “couple's disease,” where diagnosis and treatment affect not only the patient and his partner, but other members of the family as well. The partner is a key determinant of the patient's quality of life in the treatment process, but the perspective of any emotionally attached individual is underrepresented in the current literature. Various aspects of the disease treatment process, such as treatment plans, side effects, and long-term management, affect the quality of life of the person diagnosed with prostate cancer. Thus, identification of quality of life issues can facilitate the development of interventions for both the patient and his family members, and promote communication with healthcare providers. We sought to learn what factors impact the quality of life in partners of men receiving prostate cancer treatment and conducted a systematic review with thematic synthesis of published, peer-reviewed qualitative research. PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, PsychINFO, PsychARTICLES and Google Scholar were searched for studies published between January 2006 through October 2017 using search terms related to prostate cancer and the partner's quality of life. Publications were further limited to those written in English and included direct quotes from partners of patients with prostate cancer. Four themes were extracted from 13 isolated articles that explored the importance of sexuality in the partner, the divulgence of appropriate and comprehensive education from healthcare providers, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and togetherness. Quality of life may be impacted by intimacy between the patient and his partner, appropriate and comprehensive education from healthcare providers, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and feelings of togetherness in the dyad. Findings from this review may serve to increase the shared decision-making process between the patient, his partner, and the healthcare provider.

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