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The experiences and unmet supportive care needs of partners of men diagnosed with prostate cancer: a meta-aggregation systematic review.

Roberts, Cara; Toohey, Kellie; Paterson, Catherine


Cara Roberts

Kellie Toohey

Catherine Paterson


Partners of men diagnosed with prostate cancer face their own emotional struggles as they navigate additional caregiver responsibilities while concurrently adjusting to the diagnosis and coping with greater illness uncertainty for their loved one. This qualitative systematic review examined the unmet supportive care needs of partners affected by prostate cancer. A meta-aggregation was conducted. Four electronic databases were searched using key words. The methodology followed the Joanna Briggs Institute for qualitative evidence synthesis. The review process followed a registered priori review protocol and was reported using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis) guidelines. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted in parallel. Twenty-one publications were included. A total of 239 findings and 32 categories were synthesized into 7 domains of unmet needs as experienced by partners. The domains of needs expressed by the participants included interpersonal/intimacy, physical/daily living, healthcare service, family-related, psychological/emotional needs, and spiritual and social needs. There are gaps in clinical service support, despite routine clinical consultation with healthcare professionals. Partners may diminish their social networks to protect their husband at the cost to their own self-preservation and well-being. Cancer organizations, policy makers, healthcare care professionals, and researchers are slowly making progress to acknowledge the unique support needs of partners affected by cancer. Healthcare professionals should encourage partners to be included in models of prehabilitation to access timely support to address informational, intimacy, spiritual, and daily living needs support.


ROBERTS, C., TOOHEY, K. and PETERSON, C. [2023]. The experiences and unmet supportive care needs of partners of men diagnosed with prostate cancer: a meta-aggregation systematic review. Cancer nursing [online], Ahead-of-print. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Aug 9, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 19, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 2, 2023
Journal Cancer nursing
Print ISSN 0162-220X
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Prostate cancer; Caregivers; Unmet needs; Self-preservation; Well-being; Qualitative; Systematic reviews; Supportive care; Partners; Spouses; Loved ones
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Additional Information This article has been published with separate supporting information. This supporting information has been incorporated into a single file on this repository and can be found at the end of this document.


This file is under embargo until Dec 2, 2023 due to copyright reasons.

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