This study explores men with advanced prostate cancers’ own practices for promoting and maintaining emotional well-being using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
Five men with advanced prostate cancer participated in face-to-face, semi-structured, in-depth interviews.
Within rich narratives of lost and regained well-being, two super-ordinate themes emerged – ‘living with an imminent and uncertain death’ and ‘holding on to life.’ Well-being was threatened by reduced sense of the future, isolation and uncertainty. Yet, the men pursued well-being by managing their emotions, striving for the future whilst enjoying life in the present, taking care of their families and renegotiating purpose. Running through participant’s accounts was a preference for taking action and problem-solving. Sense of purpose, social connectedness and life-engagement were revealed as concepts central to improving well-being, indicating areas which practitioners could explore with men to help them re-establish personal goals and life-purpose.
The findings also add weight to the evidence base for the potential value of psychological interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness in men with prostate cancer.