Post Treatment for Prostate Cancer
: The Experiences and Psychosocial Needs of Black African and Black Caribbean Men and their Partners

  • Olufikayo Bamidele

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study explored the experiences, psychosocial needs and how best to address them after prostate cancer treatment for Black African/Black Caribbean men and their partners in England. Cancer statistics in the United Kingdom show that Black African and Black Caribbean men have a disproportionately higher risk (1 in 4) of developing prostate cancer earlier in life and in more aggressive forms compared with Caucasian (1 in 8) and Asian (1 in 13) men. An intersection between their higher prostate cancer risk, long term treatment side effects and their ethnic cultural context suggests that Black African/Black Caribbean men and their partners may have unique experiences and support needs after prostate cancer treatment. However, these phenomena are currently not well understood.

Using constructivist grounded theory methodology, thirty one face-to-face, five Skype and two telephone interviews were conducted with twenty five men, eleven partners and two healthcare professionals recruited in England. Two focus groups were also held with an additional nine healthcare professionals at their respective Trusts. Data were analysed using constant comparison. Charmaz’s key stages of initial, focused and theoretical coding were followed. Theoretical coding of key categories from the three data sets culminated in the development of a substantive theory ‘man in the driving seat’ which articulates the patterns of behaviour of Black African/Black Caribbean men and their partners along the prostate cancer journey.

Findings showed that gender-based cultural values and norms influenced how men and partners responded and coped with treatment side effects of prostate cancer. There were indications that the men were in the ‘driving seat’ whilst their partners seemed to be placed in the ‘passenger seat’ along the prostate cancer journey. Triangulating participants’ data showed that 12 most of their experiences resonate with literature on Caucasian groups. However, some important cultural differences were observed in the experiences of men and partners in this study especially in the areas of disclosure, partner engagement, coping, accessing support and enacting their masculinity roles.

Culturally-informed gender roles and identities should be considered when developing post-treatment support for Black African/Black Caribbean men with prostate cancer and their partners. Whilst these men may not spontaneously admit their need for help, healthcare professionals need to explore their professional expertise to navigate cultural barriers and identify, treat and manage post-treatment psychological distress among these men. It is essential to also recognise partners’ support needs and incorporate these within the psychosocial support agenda. Inclusive and culturally sensitive psychosocial support which particularly recognises the experiences and needs of men and their partners and supports them both as individuals and as a couple is recommended.
Date of AwardFeb 2019
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsUlster University
SupervisorKader Parahoo (Supervisor), Briege Lagan (Supervisor), Helen Mc Garvey (Supervisor) & Eilis McCaughan (Supervisor)


  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Men
  • Partners
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Psychosocial
  • Experiences
  • Grounded Theory

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