NO ONE TO CONFIDE IN - PREVALENCE AND THE EFFECT ON WELL-BEING AMONG 50-80 YEAR OLD MEN AND PROSTATE CANCER PATIENTS
 
Helgason, A.R., Adolfsson, J., Dickman, P.W. and Steineck, G., Karolinska Institute, Sweden
 
To investigate to what extent men in general and prostate cancer patients confide their emotional concerns, and if having no one to confide in affects well-being. A population based study. An anonymous questionnaire mailed to all 431 prostate cancer patients aged 50-80, diagnosed 1.5-2 years previously in Stockholm, Sweden and 435 randomly selected men in the same age group. Outcome measures included the extent to which the men could share emotionally taxing feelings with their partner or others and questions assessing well-being. The questionnaire was returned by 76% of the men. Approximately one in five had no one to confide in. Among men living with a partner, only one out of ten entrusted in someone other than their partner. Three out of ten men living in a relationship could not confide in their partner. Men having no one to entrust in were less content with their life and reported to be "tired" and "worn out" more often than other men. The prostate cancer patients were not more likely than men in general to have someone to confide in. The results indicate that a lack of emotional support may be a problem for many men over 50 and that traditional psychosocial support offered to most cancer patients in Sweden may not get through to male patients.