The role of masculinities in psychological and emotional help seeking by men with prostate cancer

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Psycho-Oncology, 2020, 29 (2), pp. 356 - 363
Issue Date:
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© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Objective: To assess the impact of demographic characteristics and masculinities on seeking support for psychosocial care needs in men with prostate cancer. Methods: Prostate cancer survivors (n = 225) completed mail-out surveys measuring psychological care needs, masculinities, and psychological and emotional help-seeking intention and behaviour at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Results: Older age was associated with seeking help from a general practitioner (GP), χ2 (1,225) = 4.72, P =.03, and being born overseas was associated with seeking peer support (1,225) = 7.13, P =.01. Men with higher levels of optimistic action who reported moderate to high unmet psychological need were less likely to seek help for psychological and emotional concerns at 6- (odds ratio [OR] = 0.06, confidence interval [CI], 0.01-0.46) and 12-month (OR = 0.13, CI, 0.26-0.65) follow-ups. Conclusions: Optimistic action may explain why some men with prostate cancer fail to seek help for their psychological care needs. Clinicians should be aware that men with chronic illness who appear to approach challenges with optimistic action may in fact be less likely to seek psychological help when needed.
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