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Psychooncology. 2001 Mar-Apr;10(2):147-55.

Married couples' perspectives on prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment decision-making.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.


Prostate cancer is a disease of men. But for married men, it is commonly and quite reasonably expected that their wives will be significantly involved in dealing with the disease and its treatment. Yet, there are few data on how wives perceive the diagnosis and their role in responding to it. This study explores men's and their wives' perceptions of the prostate cancer diagnosis and their role in treatment decision-making. We conducted separate focus group interviews with seven married men with metastatic prostate cancer and their wives. The accounts of receiving the diagnosis and deciding on treatment that were told by the men differed in significant ways from the stories told in the wives' groups. We found that many men do not share their prostate-related health problems with their wives and some men choose their treatment without much spousal consideration. Our findings suggest that physicians may be in a position to influence how men and their wives interact in reaching a treatment decision.

Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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