Friday, December 25, 2015

The Health Effects of Masculine Self-Esteem Following Treatment for Localized Prostate Cancer among Gay Men

To identify factors associated with masculine self-esteem in gay men following treatment for localized prostate cancer (PCa) and to determine the association between masculine self-esteem, PCa-specific factors, and mental health factors in these patients.

A national cross-sectional survey of gay PCa survivors was conducted in 2010-2011. To be eligible for the study, men needed to be age 50 or older, reside in the United States, self-identify as gay, able to read, write, and speak English, and to have been treated for PCa at least 1 year ago. One hundred eleven men returned surveys.

After simultaneously adjusting for the factors in our model, men aged 50-64 years and men aged 65-74 years reported lower masculine self-esteem scores than men aged 75 years or older. Lower scores were also reported by men who reported recent severe stigma. Men who reported feeling comfortable revealing their sexual orientation to their doctor reported higher masculine self-esteem scores than men who were not. The mental component score from the SF-12 was also positively correlated with masculine self-esteem.

PCa providers are in a position to reduce feelings of stigma and promote resiliency by being aware that they might have gay patients, creating a supportive environment where gay patients can discuss specific sexual concerns, and engaging patients in treatment decisions. These efforts could help not only in reducing stigma but also in increasing masculine self-esteem, thus greatly influencing gay patients' recovery, quality of life, and compliance with follow-up care.

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  • 1 School of Health Sciences, College of Sciences and Health Professions, Cleveland State University , Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 2 Center for Health Care Quality and Outcomes Research, Continuum Cancer Centers of New York , New York, New York.
  • 3 Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health , Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 4 Gerontology Program, San Francisco State University , San Francisco, California.
  • 5 Human Development and Family Studies, University of Connecticut , Storrs, Connecticut.
  • 6 Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital , Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • 7 Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health , Boston, Massachusetts. 

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