Qualitative analysis of interviews with men with prostate cancer: understanding the impact of a prostate cancer specialist nursing intervention on the post-treatment experience. (#64)
A prostate cancer specialist nursing service was introduced in 2012 to 12 health services across Australia and was evaluated to measure the impact of this role on patients, their carers, and the health care system. Analysis of patient interviews was conducted to identify patients’ experiences in 5 domains (information provision; decision making; coordination of care; post-treatment issues and life after treatment). This report focuses on post-treatment issues experienced by men after prostate cancer treatment, and the impact of the nursing service on their resolution.
A mixed methods comparative design was used, recruiting patients in the six months before (Cohort 1) and six months after (Cohort 2) the introduction of the service. For the qualitative component, telephone interviews were conducted with patients from both cohorts to discuss their care experiences. Stratified samples of consenting men were chosen across a range of demographics and sites. The constant comparative method was used to generate themes. Interviews continued (36 Cohort 1 and 34 Cohort 2 patients) until no new themes emerged from the data.
Themes identified across cohorts were: erectile dysfunction; urinary incontinence; psychological issues and other common experiences (e.g. pain) which were significant issues post-treatment. Men reported that having a contact person to openly discuss matters and seek referrals, advice and support was helpful. Men from Cohort 1 described instances of complications arising from erectile dysfunction which had not been followed up and remained unresolved. In contrast, men from Cohort 2 described being able to contact their prostate cancer specialist nurse for follow-up support and that their transition was facilitated by having a key contact person.
The prostate cancer specialist nursing service assisted men to know what to expect post-treatment. Being able to contact their nurse for follow-up and support contributed to an overall improved post-treatment experience.