Psychosocial adaptation in female partners of men with prostate cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective was to explore the psychosocial adaptation of female partners living with men with a diagnosis of either localized or metastatic prostate cancer. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 50 women at two time points (baseline and 6 months later). The interviews examined emotions, experiences, attitudes to sexual and continence issues and treatment decision making. As part of a larger prospective observational study, demographic data and scores for depression and anxiety were collected. Initial analysis demonstrated that the group of 11 women assessed as distressed on the anxiety and depression measures described reduced coping skills and poorer adaptation after 6 months. In contrast, the 39 women in the non-distressed group reported emotional adaptation that fitted the Lazarus and Folkman pattern of coping through appraisal of the impact of the diagnosis on their partner and themselves, appraisal of coping strategies and reappraisal of the situation. A surprise finding was the high level of resilience displayed by majority of these women. Results suggest that a psychosocial intervention could strengthen healthy adaptation and provide better coping skills for distressed couples.


  • LOVE, AW
  • BLOCH, S

publication date

  • March 2010