A narrative analysis of the partner of a patient who has undergone a prostatectomy



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The purpose of this study was to explore the storied narratives of the partners of those who have undergone a prostatectomy due to prostate cancer. Cancer affects the quality of life of the family by causing complex feelings and lifestyle changes that can be overwhelming; however, with prostate cancer being a couple’s disease, it may have a substantial effect on the partner. This study aims to shed light on the experiences and needs of the partner of those who have undergone a radical prostatectomy (RP). Using the narrative analysis methodology of qualitative research, interviews with eleven participants were conducted with a semi-structured interview guide. Six overarching themes explained the relationship changes and the barriers of the participants. They did not feel well educated on the impact an RP would have on their relationship and intimacy. Participants shared the impact an RP had on their relationship and intimacy. Fear from the loss of control was clear, and participants expressed a desire for support and a need for information. They vocalized elevating their partner’s needs and protected the affected partner. The biggest barrier they expressed was the lack of support and information on how this treatment would impact them. Medical professionals, especially nurses at the forefront of care, are invaluable in educating partners about the impact that the RP would have on their relationship. Resources and support should be offered to the partner.



prostate cancer, partners, prostatectomy