Background and Objective Despite significant progress in prostate cancer research over the last decades, screening of the disease has remained controversial. From a socio-epidemiological perspective, little is known of patients' beliefs about their illness and why they often delay in seeking diagnosis. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the experiences and perceptions of men about the early detection of prostate cancer.
Method This study used a grounded theory approach incorporating the theoretical perspective of social constructionism. A purposive sampling of 24 men from public and private sector hospitals who had received therapy were interviewed face to face in Persian using a semi-structured interview guide. Interviews were audio taped, then transcribed in full, translated into English by the investigator, and analysed using MAXqda software.
Results The value men accorded to early detection of prostate cancer was found to be conditional upon their beliefs of prostate illness and their experiences about cure. There was a lack of information about the early detection process. The men felt that medical intervention was focused on the biological aspects, ignoring the needs of the psychosocial concerns. The men were not expecting to have symptoms because of prostate treatment; this influenced their subsequent decision-making.
Conclusion Given men's perceptions and experiences of the illness, screening of prostate cancer seems to have wider implications. The findings suggest that early detection of the disease in Iran may need a screening model that incorporates both biomedical and psychosocial aspects.
- early detection
- prostate cancer
- Grounded theory
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