A Qualitative Exploration of Men's Strategies for Preserving Emotional Well-being in Advanced Prostate Cancer

  • A. Levy
  • T. Cartwright


Background: Whilst research has documented the physical and psychological burden of advanced prostate cancer, there has been limited exploration of approaches to well-being. This study explored men with advanced prostate cancers’ practices for promoting and maintaining emotional well-being. Methods: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews with five men with advanced prostate cancer from around the UK. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings: Within narratives of lost and regained well-being, two super-ordinate themes emerged: ‘living with an imminent and uncertain death' and ‘strategies to manage living with death and uncertainty.' Well-being was threatened by reduced sense of the future, isolation and uncertainty. Yet the men pursued well-being by managing their emotions, striving for the future whilst enjoying life in the present, taking care of their families and renegotiating purpose. Discussion: Practitioners could encourage men with advanced prostate cancer to explore their own existing resilience and coping strategies. In particular, sense of purpose, social connectedness and life-engagement were revealed as concepts central to improving well-being. Additionally participants sought to take action and problem-solve, pointing to the relevance of CBT-based interventions for this population.
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