Purpose/Objectives: To examine partner involvement in treatment decision making for localized prostate cancer, congruence between partner involvement and patient preference, reasons for partner noninvolvement, and partner satisfaction with patient treatment.
Design: Cross-sectional exploratory study.
Setting: 100 counties in North Carolina.
Sample: 281 partners of men with newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer.
Methods: Participants completed a phone survey. Logistic regression analyses were used.
Main Research Variables: Partners’ involvement in treatment decision making, partner satisfaction with treatment, activities of partner involvement, and reasons for noninvolvement.
Findings: Of the 228 partners (81%) related to decision making, 205 (73%) were very satisfied with the treatment the patients received, and partner involvement was congruent with patient preference in 242 partners (86%). Partners reported several reasons for noninvolvement: agreeing with whatever the patient decides, trusting the doctor’s decisions, believing that the patient should make the decision, respecting the patient’s decision, and being concerned with the impact on their relationship if they chose the wrong treatment.
Conclusions: Most partners engaged in multiple activities during treatment decision making for localized prostate cancer and were satisfied with the patient’s treatment. Partner involvement was mostly congruent with patient preference.
Implications for Nursing: Partners’ active involvement in treatment decision making for localized prostate cancer (e.g., being involved in patients’ conversations with doctors) should be encouraged and facilitated for those who prefer this type of decision making.