PURPOSE: To explore the experiences of men with prostate cancer identified as having psychological distress and to identify factors influencing distress.
PARTICIPANTS & SETTING: 28 men with prostate cancer diagnosed 18-42 months earlier, identified as having psychological distress on survey measures.
METHODOLOGIC APPROACH: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis using a framework approach was used.
FINDINGS: Men with psychological distress had strong perceptions of loss toward self (identity, sexuality/masculinity, self-confidence), function (physical activities), connection (relational, social, community), and control (future, emotional). Psychological vulnerability appeared heightened in particular groups of men. Maladaptive strategies of emotional concealment, help-seeking avoidance, and withdrawal appeared to contribute to distress.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Distress in men with prostate cancer is multifaceted. Men with distress should be identified and offered support. Nurse- or peer-led interventions are required.