A Systematic Review of Disease Related Stigmatization in Patients Living with Prostate Cancer.

DEREK LARKIN, Alison Birtle, Laura Bradley, Paola Dey, Colin Martin, Melissa Pilkington, Carlos Romero-Rivas

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Prostate cancer has been shown to be susceptible to significant stigmatisation, because to a large extent it is concealable, it has potentially embarrassing sexual symptoms and has significant impact on the psychosocial functioning.

This review included studies that focused on qualitative and/or quantitative data, where the study outcome was prostate cancer and included a measure of stigmatization. Electronic databases (CINAHL, Medline, PubMed, PsycInfo, Cochrane Library, PROSPERO, and the Joanna Briggs Institute) and one database for grey literature Opengrey.eu, were screened. We used thematic analysis, with narrative synthesis to analyse these data. We assessed risk of bias in the included studies using the RoBANS.

In total, 18 studies met review inclusion criteria, incorporating a total of 2295 participants. All studies recruited participants with prostate cancer, however four studies recruited participants with other cancers such as breast cancer and lung cancer. Of the 18 studies, 11 studies evaluated perceived or felt stigma; four studies evaluated internalised or self-stigma; three studies evaluated more than one stigma domain.

We found that patients living with prostate cancer encounter stigmatisation that relate to perception, internalisation, and discrimination experiences. We also identified several significant gaps related to the understanding of prostate cancer stigmatization, which provides an opportunity for future research to address these important public health issues.

This systematic review protocol is registered with PROSPERO, the international prospective register of systematic reviews in health and social care. Registration number: CRD42020177312
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Early online date11 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Feb 2022


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