Spirituality in men with advanced prostate cancer

PhD Thesis


Lepherd, Laurence. 2012. Spirituality in men with advanced prostate cancer. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Spirituality in men with advanced prostate cancer

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorLepherd, Laurence
SupervisorRogers-Clark, Cath
Coates, Des
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages307
Year2012
Abstract

The aim of this doctoral research was to explore the nature of spirituality in men with advanced prostate cancer, and to discover the role that spirituality might have in
these men as they face the challenges associated with living with their disease. The concept of spirituality is widely discussed in literature but definitions of it can be
confusing. The term is often used synonymously with religion but such juxtaposition can be misleading. This research sought to describe the concept of spirituality
through an analysis of literature and through an understanding of what spirituality meant to men in specific circumstances. A qualitative approach using a methodology
that incorporated hermeneutic and dialectic principles, case study and narrative method was used to explore the spirituality of nine men with advanced prostate
cancer who volunteered to participate and to tell the story of their cancer journey with particular focus on their spirituality. In this study, advanced prostate cancer
referred to the condition existing when the cancer had become non-localised by spreading beyond the prostate gland to other parts of the pelvic area, or had metastasised to other parts of the body. The study found that spirituality for these men was a 'holistic thing' that involved physical, psychosocial and spiritual matters that enabled them to transcend the everyday difficulties of their journey and obtain greater comfort and peace of mind during what was for many of them a traumatic time. The central theme in the men’s stories was that of Connectedness – to
themselves, to their partners, sometimes to a higher being and also to other people such as their family and friends. It was also observed that their physical and spiritual
journeys progressed in parallel. The findings of this research will have considerable benefit to healthcare practitioners who are frequently involved in caring for men in this condition who have a need to discuss their spirituality as their life’s journey ebbs and flows.

Keywordsspirituality; men; prostate cancer; cancer
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020321104. Cancer therapy (excl. chemotherapy and radiation therapy)
420899. Traditional, complementary and integrative medicine not elsewhere classified
500405. Religion, society and culture
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Sciences
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