Sexual minority men and the experience of undergoing treatment for prostate cancer: An integrative review

Michael A Moore, Janene Batten, Mark Lazenby
European Journal of Cancer Care 2019 March 3, : e13031

INTRODUCTION: Gay, bisexual and queer (GBQ) men with prostate cancer have unique experiences of the prostate cancer journey. The current integrative review aimed to synthesise existing scientific literature for the purpose of identifying GBQ men's psychosocial experience of undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

METHODS: We utilised the Whittemore and Knafl (Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52, 546-553) integrative review methodology and the Garrard (Health sciences literature review made easy. Jones & Bartlett Publishers) matrix method.

RESULTS: After a systematic search, 18 quantitative and non-empirical studies were included for thematic analysis. Three themes emerged: (a) Prostate cancer, and its treatment affect sexual wellbeing, including negatively affecting their relationships and sense of self. (b) Health care is heteronormative, exemplified by clinicians dismissing GBQ men's concerns, leading GBQ men to fare worse on psychosocial outcomes, including treatment satisfaction, in comparison with heterosexual counterparts. (c) Prostate cancer affects social support. GBQ men rely on an expansive support network, but often isolate themselves during prostate cancer treatment as to not be burden others.

CONCLUSION: Psychosocial supportive care needs to address GBQ men's sexual, emotional and social needs. Future psycho-oncologic trials are needed, especially on GBQ-specific peer-support interventions.

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