Purpose/Objectives: To determine the long-term effects of prostate cancer treatment on spouse quality of life (QOL) at 36 months following treatment.
Design: Descriptive-exploratory; community-based study.
Setting: Telephone interviews.
Sample: 95 female spouses of men treated for early-stage prostate cancer.
Methods: A computer-assisted telephone interview was used to evaluate QOL among spouses of prostate cancer survivors at 36 months after initial prostate cancer treatment.
Main Research Variables: Lymphedema, demographic information, self-reported comorbid diseases or medical issues, and medication usage.
Findings: Spouses who had more negative appraisal of caregiving had lower sexual satisfaction, poorer cancer-specific QOL, and poorer mental QOL. Spouses who perceived bother related to the patient's sexual or hormone function reported more threatening appraisals of caregiving, less sexual satisfaction, and poorer QOL.
Conclusions: Spouses continued to experience negative appraisal of caregiving, which affected QOL 36 months after their husbands' treatment for prostate cancer. Additional studies related to factors that influence spouse QOL during survivorship will help guide clinical practice.
Implications for Nursing: Healthcare providers must help spouses find strategies that promote positive coping and lessen negative appraisal. Giving caregivers information early in the treatment process will help them understand what to expect over time. Supporting caregivers and helping them manage stress will enhance QOL during survivorship.
Knowledge Translation: Spouses who experienced more bother related to urinary, sexual, and hormonal function experience more stress and worse QOL at 36 months post-treatment. Spouse appraisal can have a significant effect on QOL. Offering counseling to couples following treatment for prostate cancer may improve QOL by helping couples manage relationship intimacy.
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