Information Seeking and Satisfaction with Information Sources Among Spouses of Men with Newly Diagnosed Local-Stage Prostate Cancer
This pilot study explores in depth the information-seeking behaviours of partners of men with prostate cancer. Six men with prostate cancer and their partners participated in one mini focus group discussion or four couple interviews. Theme analysis by two independent analysts produced three related themes: partners' information-seeking behaviours; partners' information-avoiding behaviours; and the conflict between seeking and avoiding information. The information-seeking behaviours of partners were individualistic, with some partners seeking voluminous information and others avoiding information. Partners sought information to help reduce their feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, to help them participate in the decision-making process, to help them care for their partner and to ensure that they had their information needs met. Partners avoided information to reduce their levels of fear and worry and to maintain a sense of normality. They failed to seek information from healthcare professionals because they felt disempowered and pressurised for time during patient-physician consultations. The information-seeking behaviours of partners changed over time and across situations and their behaviours were sometimes different from those of their partners (the patients), with some partners exhibiting more information-seeking behaviour than patients. The findings within each of these themes and their practice implications are discussed in this paper.