Sexual adjustment psychological distress of wives of men at least one year after radical prostatectomy
Prostate cancer is a traumatic event that affects the patient himself as well as his partner. prostate cancer is seen as a "couple's disease" (Roth, et al., 1998; Kornblith, Herr, Ofman, Scher, & Holland, 2004). Past research has described the sexual and psychological adjustment of the prostate cancer patient himself, after radical prostatectomy. There is, however, very limited published research literature on the psychosexual adjustment of the female partner of these patients, especially during the time period of at least one year after the surgical procedure into the recuperation phase.
The purpose of the present research study was to examine and describe the sexual adjustment and psychological distress of wives' of men who were one year post radical prostatectomy surgery. The research also examined the relationship between the wives' psychological distress and their sexual adjustment.
This quantitative, descriptive, and correlational study had a convenience sample of 37 participants. It employed three data collection instruments which included a demographic and health background data sheet concerning the patient and his wife, the 53 item Brief Symptom Inventory to measure psychological distress, and a 38 item Sexual Adjustment Inventory.
The findings of this research study describe important aspects of the female partner's experience when her husband has undergone a radical prostatectomy. It is imperative to examine the experience of the wives' of these men in that these partners' experiences are integrally related to their husbands' disease and treatment. Comprehensive, up to date information about psychosexual adjustment of partners will allow for the development of holistic care regimens which take into consideration the wives' needs as well as the patients' needs. Ultimately, a couples-based treatment program and follow up regimen will contribute to the quality of life of both partners.