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dc.contributor.authorGulish, Laurel J
dc.description.abstractThe prevalence of prostate cancer continues to rise as methods for the detection of this disease improve and the lifespan of human beings increases. As a result more couples are faced with both the physical and emotional side effects that accompany prostate cancer. The goal of this qualitative study was to investigate the dyadic response to the diagnosis and treatment of this disease from a biopsychosocial perspective. Three couples were selected and interviewed at length in order to gather a rich description of their experiences with prostate cancer. Many common themes surfaced during these interviews regarding how the couples viewed this experience, their coping strategies, and their adjustment to the physical and emotional implications of this disease. In addition to the common themes, each couple reported unique issues and behaviors that are also documented. The findings indicate that there are several important factors related to positive adjustment in this sample. Each of the couples indicated that they accepted the diagnosis and treatment side effects in that they “did what they had to do.” In addition, each of the couples sought out support from family members, especially their children. Formal support groups also proved valuable as a source for information and connections with other couples that have had similar experiences. Each of the couples also talked about their experiences with the medical establishment and cited the inclusion of the wife in the treatment process as very important to their ability to cope with this disease. Each of the couples experienced a change in their sexual relationship and it appears that the age of the couple and the nature of their sexual relationship before treatment are important factorS in determining how they view this change. Finally, each of the couples reported having a new perspective on life, which made them more appreciative of their relationships with their family and friends. Most importantly, creating connections with others, i.e. their physicians, family members, and other couples seemed to help the participants to cope with this illness and the side effects in a positive way.
dc.rightsOn Campus Only
dc.subjectProstate cancer
dc.subjectDyadic response
dc.subjectSupport Groups
dc.subjectBiopsychosocial perspective
dc.titleFacing illness together
dc.title.alternativethe response of resilient couples to prostate cancer
dc.description.departmentChild and Family Development
dc.description.majorChild and Family Development
dc.description.advisorJerry Gale
dc.description.committeeJerry Gale
dc.description.committeeMaureen Davey
dc.description.committeeLee Johnson
dc.description.committeeLily McNair
dc.description.committeeMichele Smith

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