Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Nursing

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Howard

Abstract

Prostate cancer (PC) affects one in eight men in North America and continues to be the most common site of cancer in males, especially among older men in Europe and the United States, and the second most common cancer worldwide. Prostate cancer is, after lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related deaths among men with an estimated 27,540 deaths in 2015.

The well-being of patients diagnosed with PC is a largely unexplored research area. Numerous factors likely impact men’s psychological well-being as they progress through the experience of managing PC. Among the various factors that may predict psychological well-being for these men, social support, marital adjustment, and emotional expressiveness seem to warrant investigation based on the research literature. “Psychological well-being” as described by Ryff offers a unique way of measuring psychological functioning of men diagnosed with PC and appears to be a multidimensional view of positive psychological functioning.

Little research has been conducted to examine how various factors influence psychological well-being in men with PC. The purpose of the study was to examine correlates and predictors of overall psychological well-being in a sample of men diagnosed with PC. Independent variables included three psychological factors-social support, marital adjustment, and emotional expressiveness. The design of the study was descriptive and cross-sectional. Measures used included: a demographic questionnaire, Scales of Psychological Well-Being, Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Expression of Emotion Scale, and a Visual Analog Scale of Social Support. Data analyses examined three predictors and the dependent variable–total psychological well-being. Findings show that marital adjustment significantly predicts total psychosocial well-being scores in men diagnosed with cancer in a positive direction. Implications for therapeutic practice and future research are discussed. Lack of support may place men diagnosed with prostate cancer at risk for poorer psychological well-being. Identification of at-risk men and referral to support services may improve overall psychological well-being

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