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A study to see how men’s relationships with their wives or partners influence their diet after having a diagnosis of prostate cancer
This was a study to learn more about how to help men improve their diet after a prostate cancer diagnosis. And how their relationships with their wives or partners influenced what they ate.
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, men may make changes to their diet and lifestyle. But it can be difficult to make these changes.
The aim of this study was to learn more about how best to support men with healthy eating. The study team asked men and their wives or female partners about what and how they ate.
Summary of results
The study team found that the relationship and communication between men and their partners were important when supporting men in changing their eating habits.
The researcher interviewed 16 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and 14 female partners. He asked them questions about how they looked for information about diet, and how they went about changing their eating habits.
When the researcher looked at the answers he found there were 2 main themes.
Seeking information and deciding on food changes
Sometimes it was the woman who looked for the information and then changed the way she shopped, cooked and what foods she served. For other couples, it was the man who did the research and decided what changes he wanted to make. Often the man looked for the information about what foods to have and the woman looked for recipes. No matter which way it happened any likely changes were first talked about between the man and his partner.
Monitoring food changes
Usually it was the woman who made sure that their partner stuck to the changes and kept to their new diet. They also worked hard to ensure that the changes weren’t too extreme or difficult and that treats were allowed when appropriate. Even if the men asked for the food changes, they still relied on their partners to help them to stick to the diet and make sure they were happy with it.
The researcher said this information tells us that it is important to include female partners when offering services to change men’s diets following a diagnosis of prostate cancer. But it needs to be done carefully to help the men and their partners make the diet changes if they want to.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Larry Mróz
Leeds Beckett University
The Leverhulme Trust
The Men’s Health Initiative, British Columbia (Canada)