Reclaiming wellness--living with bodily problems, as narrated by men with advanced prostate cancer

Cancer Nurs. 2006 Jul-Aug;29(4):327-37. doi: 10.1097/00002820-200607000-00012.


Having advanced prostate cancer means living with considerable bodily problems, a living we know little about. Thus, the aim of this study was to illuminate meanings of living with bodily problems, as narrated by men with advanced metastasized hormone refractory prostate cancer. Eighteen participants were interviewed, and the text was analyzed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach. Findings show that meanings of living with bodily problems are to live in cyclical movements between experiencing wellness and experiencing illness. New, or changed, bodily problems mean losing wellness and experiences of being ill. Understanding and, to some extent, being in control of bodily problems, make it possible to reclaim wellness and to experience oneself as being well. Findings also show that pain and fatigue are the most prominent problems and that they have different meanings. Pain being a threat of dying in agony, whereas fatigue is more of an emissary of death. Reclaiming wellness versus adaptation and enduring versus suffering deriving from 2 different perspectives, the inside or life world perspective and the outside or professional perspective, are questions discussed in the article. One clinical implication for nursing is the risk of obstructing the patients' possibility of reclaiming wellness by focusing on symptoms and disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Palliative Care*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / nursing
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sweden