Lower urinary tract symptoms: a hermeneutic phenomenological study into men's lived experience

Mark Wareing
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2005, 14 (2): 239-46

AIM: This was an investigation to discover the lived experience of men with lower urinary tract symptoms arising from benign prostatic hyperplasic.

DESIGN: A hermeneutic phenomenological study.

METHODS: Approval was granted by the local Applied and Qualitative Research Ethics Committee (AQREC) prior to the commencement of the study. Data were gathered via semi-structured interviews that were audio taped, and subsequently transcribed. Each transcripted interview was analysed by the investigator and a team of 'expert readers'. The team agreed on a total of 57 sub-themes divided into seven categories with unanimity, therefore obviating the need for participant validation.

FINDINGS: The major findings of the study suggest that men experience a broad and dramatic spectrum of phenomena while living with a benign prostate condition. This includes profound embarrassment, fear, revulsion as well as humour that require a range of methods and life adjustments to manage and contain their symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: The participant's narratives provide a thick, rich and meaningful insight into how men understand their bodies, and make sense of prostate disease; a significant men's health issue.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Several studies have already been published describing men's lived experience of prostate surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia. This research has captured men's lived experience of lower urinary tract symptoms ahead of surgical intervention. Men experience a broad scope of phenomena resulting from life with a benign prostate condition that encompasses fear and embarrassment and the development of coping mechanisms and changes in life style. Recent media awareness campaigns to raise public awareness of prostate disease as a men's health issue appear to be changing how men perceive their bodies, how they converse with one another, and their help seeking behaviour.

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