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01.12.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 12/2014

Supportive Care in Cancer 12/2014

‘Knowledge is power’: perceived needs and preferred services of male partners of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 12/2014
Autoren:
Terry Cheng, Maureen Jackman, Maurene McQuestion, Margaret Fitch

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this qualitative exploratory study was to assess the perceived needs and preferred services of male partners of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methods

Twenty-seven male partners participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. An inductive analysis was used to identify the patterns, themes and categories from the data.

Results

A diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent treatment significantly affect the male partners of women diagnosed with this illness, creating ‘needs’ that require coping responses. To help them support their wife and family, they relied on their internal resources and informal sources of support. Many participants suggested that the health care system provides information addressing their needs to facilitate their role of caring for their wife. The findings did not support the clinical assumption that men would be interested in a men’s group focused on them and their needs.

Conclusions

The diagnosis of breast cancer significantly affected the male partners, creating the need for support services including information on a variety of topics. An information binder tailored specifically to their needs was the preferred method of facilitating their husbandly role and coping. Findings did not support the clinical assumption that men would be interested in a men’s group focused on them and their needs.

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