From Survival to Healthy Aging: Couples Living with Late Side Effects after Removal of the Prostate

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Diagnosis of chronic illness may help health-care professionals to improve treatment and enhance quality of life for patients and their spouses. From a narrative perspective this study investigates everyday life and togetherness of eight men and their spouses (51–75 years old) before, during and after surgery for prostate cancer. Twenty-four dyadic in-depth interviews three by eight) were carried out two to four months (with the couple) and 6–10 months (with the patient and partner separately) after surgery. The interviews lasted two to five hours. Throughout the narratives the patients and the spouses built their mutual and individual lives focusing on their relationship and strived to return to their usual everyday life. Within three to six months the couples went from “survival” where the diagnosis dominated to “wellbeing” where healthy aging/lifestyle dominated. All eight couples led a relatively healthy lifestyle before surgery, but increased their healthy life style significantly after surgery. However, the couples did not mention their rather radical changes in everyday life such as exercising for 12 hours weekly, excluding meat in their diet or taking high doses of C-vitamins/ginger/chili as a change in everyday life. There were differences in coping styles between men and women in everyday life with regard to the late side effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Pages (from-to)13
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
EventQualitative Health Research Conference 2017 - Hilton Hotel Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Duration: 15 Oct 201719 Oct 2017
Conference number: 23


ConferenceQualitative Health Research Conference 2017
LocationHilton Hotel Quebec
Internet address


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