Male Caregivers of Patients With Breast and Gynecologic Cancer

Experiences From Caring for Their Spouses and Partners

Violeta Lopez, PhD, RN, FRCNA; Gina Copp, PhD, RN; Alexander Molassiotis, PhD, RN


Cancer Nurs. 2012;35(6):402-410. 

In This Article


This study is part of a larger program of research exploring the symptom experiences of a number of cancer diagnostic groups and their caregivers using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.[27–30] Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants to the study. We used maximum variation sampling with regard to sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, which involved a search for variations in individuals with widely different experiences; this was the sampling framework for the entire (larger) study. Following approval from the ethics committee, patients with breast and gynecologic cancer from a large specialist oncology center in the United Kingdom, that is, a few weeks after diagnosis and prior to commencement of treatment, were approached initially. If patients consented, they were asked to identify the primary caregiver responsible for ongoing caregiving at home. They were asked to introduce the study to their caregivers and to give us consent to contact their caregiver. Consenting caregivers were then provided with information about the study, and written consent was obtained. Fifteen male caregivers were recruited through the patients and agreed to participate. Ten were spouses, whereas the remaining were partners or fiance's, with 13 participants living in the same house with their wives/partners.