Patient-centred care: what are the experiences of prostate cancer patients and their partners?

Objective: To gain an in depth understanding of the experiences of care of men with prostate cancer and their partners. Methods: The study design was a qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews of men (35) who had been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer and their partners (10). They were recruited from two hospitals in the East Midlands of England and two charities. Results: The interviews showed that although there was no widespread dissatisfaction with care, patients reported problems throughout care. The two main problems were that throughout care patients’ and partners’ information needs were often not identified or met, and patients’ preferred role in decision-making about testing and treatment was not explored. Conclusions: If patients’ experiences of prostate cancer care are to be improved, clinicians need to identify, and respond to, the information and decision-making needs of individual patients and their partners. Practice: Implications Clinicians should identify and meet the needs of patients individually, use appropriate language and formats for communicating information, fully prepare patients for tests, explore and meet the needs of patients for involvement in decision-making, and recognise the important role that their partner plays. Systems and pathways of care should be designed to enable patients and partners to obtain information and participate in decision making throughout all stages of care.

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