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What are the experiences of men affected by prostate cancer participating in an ecological momentary assessment study?

Paterson, Catherine; Primeau, Charlotte; Lauder, William


Catherine Paterson

Charlotte Primeau

William Lauder


Background: Within the cluster of self-report methodologies, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a method used in health services research whereby a participant repeatedly reports on affect, behaviours, symptoms and cognitions as they occur in real time in the participants natural environment. However, little is known about the impact of participating in an EMA study on individuals’ experiences who are affected by prostate cancer. Objectives: To explore the lived experiences of men affected by prostate participating in an EMA study and assess whether their participation in EMA alters their representation of their condition. Methods: Participants (12n) were purposively recruited from two university teaching hospitals in Scotland. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with men affected by prostate cancer following the completion of EMA data collection. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: The lived experience of prostate cancer included six superordinate themes: isolation in the healthcare system, lack of shared care plans, informational support, coping with prostate cancer, fear of death and dying, and vocational rehabilitation. The organising theme electronic diary as an intervention included four superordinate themes: changing self-management behaviours, habitual experience, changing perceptions and diary in daily life. Conclusion: We observed that men participating in the EMA study described several methodological complexities which needs addressed through future research. Clinical Implications: Importantly, there is a need for the health system to prioritise research and develop a more holistic approach to prostate cancer care in line with men preferences and needs in the future.


PATERSON, C., PRIMEAU, C. and LAUDER, W. 2020. What are the experiences of men affected by prostate cancer participating in an ecological momentary assessment study? Cancer nursing [online], 43(4), pages 300-310. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 18, 2019
Publication Date Aug 31, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 19, 2020
Journal Cancer nursing
Print ISSN 0162-220X
Electronic ISSN 1538-9804
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 300-310
Keywords Prostate cancer; Ecological momentary assessment; Qualitative; Real time; Quality of life; Lived experience
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