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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Coping, information preferences, and treatment choice in men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer Levin, Anna Yudit


Due to increased screening more men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer than ever before. In this case of early detection, several treatment options are appropriate, all impacting individuals’ quality of life and varying in their inherent risks. Further, the variety of treatment options available may not compromise survival as an outcome. Because of these factors, making a treatment decision can be particularly difficult for men, and information needs surrounding treatment decision making is an important clinical issue. In the current prospective study there are two data collection points: after diagnosis with prostate cancer at the time of treatment decision making, and approximately four months later, after a treatment decision has been made. Questionnaire data were used to investigate men’s disease-specific coping style and intolerance of uncertainty, information needs, level of preferred involvement in treatment decision making, knowledge regarding treatment options and side effects, emotional functioning and treatment choice. This project provides significant new knowledge concerning the coping style, information requirements, preferred level of involvement in treatment decision making, and emotional functioning of men at the time of treatment decision making. The study also examines the relative contributions of coping style and intolerance of uncertainty to anxiety and depression experienced by participants following treatment choice. Finally, this study explores the contribution of several variables to the types of treatments chosen by participants. In terms of coping, results indicate that monitoring and blunting were not related to distress indices. Both coping indices were related to information preferences at the time of diagnosis, but did not explain significant variance in preferred level of involvement in treatment decision making. Intolerance of uncertainty was predictive of time 2 depression, but not anxiety, but did not predict significant additional variance in depression over and above coping style. No study variable was found to be predictive of treatment choice. Results are discussed in terms of clinical implications for screening individuals newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, with the aim of meeting the emotional and informational needs of individuals during this critical period of their cancer trajectory.

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