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Cancer Nursing:
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A Qualitative Analysis of Interviews of Men With Early Stage Prostate Cancer: The Prostate Cancer Lifestyle Trial

Kronenwetter, Carol PhD; Weidner, Gerdi PhD; Pettengill, Elaine PhD, RN; Marlin, Ruth MD; Crutchfield, Lila RN; McCormac, Patricia RN; Raisin, Caren J. RN; Ornish, Dean MD

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Abstract

We conducted interviews with a subsample of men (n = 26) participating in the Prostate Cancer Lifestyle Trial (PCLT), who had biopsy-proven prostate cancer (Gleason grade <7; prostate-specific antigen 4–10 ng/mL) and chose “watchful waiting” after diagnosis. The PCLT aimed at improving diet, exercise, stress management practices, and group support within a peer community setting. The aims of this study were to examine psychological, emotional, spiritual, and social reactions to (a) a diagnosis of early stage prostate cancer and (b) participation in the PCLT. Qualitative analyses were completed using MAXqda. Results indicated that the cancer diagnosis was met with anxiety, distress, and denial, or a “bump in the road” attitude. There was some indication that conflict with partners was exacerbated by the diagnosis. A significant component of the lifestyle intervention was involvement in the peer community. This community provided opportunities to experience connections with others facing similar health difficulties. Men generally expressed positive attitudes (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) about the lifestyle change, and felt that their participation in the program contributed to feelings of hope, optimism, and fighting spirit. Additionally, participants frequently mentioned increased comfort with emotional expression.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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