The Experiences and Unmet Supportive Care Needs of Partners of Men Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

Cara Roberts, Kellie Toohey, Catherine Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Partners of men diagnosed with prostate cancer face their own emotional struggles as they navigate additional caregiver responsibilities while concurrently adjusting to the diagnosis and coping with greater illness uncertainty for their loved one.

This qualitative systematic review examined the unmet supportive care needs of partners affected by prostate cancer.

A meta-aggregation was conducted. Four electronic databases were searched using key words. The methodology followed the Joanna Briggs Institute for qualitative evidence synthesis. The review process followed a registered priori review protocol and was reported using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis) guidelines. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted in parallel.

Twenty-one publications were included. A total of 239 findings and 32 categories were synthesized into 7 domains of unmet needs as experienced by partners. The domains of needs expressed by the participants included interpersonal/intimacy, physical/daily living, healthcare service, family-related, psychological/emotional needs, and spiritual and social needs.

There are gaps in clinical service support, despite routine clinical consultation with healthcare professionals. Partners may diminish their social networks to protect their husband at the cost to their own self-preservation and well-being.

Implications for Practice
Cancer organizations, policy makers, healthcare care professionals, and researchers are slowly making progress to acknowledge the unique support needs of partners affected by cancer. Healthcare professionals should encourage partners to be included in models of prehabilitation to access timely support to address informational, intimacy, spiritual, and daily living needs support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalCancer Nursing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2022


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