Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation





First Advisor

Dr. Dorothy Y. Brockopp

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Kay Rayens


Prostate cancer (PCa) has been the leading cause of cancer death in men since1930. While studies pertaining to PCa have primarily focused on the disease and the subsequent side effects of treatment, psychological distress in this group has yet to be adequately addressed. The purpose of this dissertation was to: 1) conceptualize health related quality of life (HRQL) and health seeking behavior of men by describing lifestyle, cultural and health risks associated with being male, 2) evaluate the psychometric properties of the SF-12 Health Survey (SF-12) combined with the urinary and sexual portions of the UCLA PCa Index (UCLA-PCI), 3) investigate the psychological impact, coping styles and informational needs of a group of men diagnosed with PCa who have not yet undergone treatment. Men have been observed to underutilize health care services despite the fact that they are in poorer health, have higher mortality rates and lower life expectancies than women. Restricting emotions, being oriented toward success, having limited social networks and taking health risks are often associated with being male. Because incontinence and sexual dysfunction, the two most common side effects of PCa treatments impact men's quality of life, portions of the UCLA-PCI and the SF12 were analyzed. The psychometric analysis of the SF-12/UCLA-PCI and its three subcomponents confirmed the validity of the instrument. The SF-12 component had a Cronbach's alpha of 0.87, while the urinary and sexual subscales had a Cronbach's alpha of .86 and .91 respectively. All three scales were found to have good internal consistency. KEYWORDS: prostate cancer, health related quality of life, coping styles, psychological distress.

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