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Open Access Article

The Lived Experience of Men Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

Kelly A. Krumwiede
Norma Krumwiede
ONF 2012, 39(5), E443-E450 DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.E443-E450

Purpose/Objectives: To investigate the lived experience of prostate cancer from a patient perspective.

Research Approach: Descriptive, qualitative.

Setting: Community setting.

Participants: 10 men with prostate cancer aged 62-70 years.

Methodologic Approach: A hermeneutic phenomenologic method using semistructured, open-ended questions addressing the lived experience.

Data Synthesis: Phenomenology of praxis proposed by van Manen guided the data analysis and transformed personal experiences into disciplinary understanding.

Findings: The use of van Manen's method of inquiry and analysis has contributed to the findings of the study by providing a way to explore the meaning of the lived experiences in an attempt to understand living with prostate cancer. Several themes were identified: living in the unknown, yearning to understand and know, struggling with unreliability of body, bearing the diagnosis of cancer, shifting priorities in the gap, and feeling comfort in the presence of others.

Conclusions: Oncology nurses can use van Manen's four fundamental existentials—lived space (spatiality), lived body (corporeality), lived time (temporality), and lived other (relationality)—to understand the lived experience of prostate cancer. Nurses have many opportunities to impact the lives of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, including diagnosis, management of physical integrity, management of psychosocial integrity, and providing education.

Interpretation: Nurses may encourage men to describe their diagnosis story and illness experience to better understand the meaning of the prostate cancer experience and to provide appropriate nursing care.

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