Laurence Lepherd

Dealing With Prostate Cancer And The Role Of Hope

A team of University of Southern Queensland (USQ) researchers is looking into how men with localised prostate cancer and their loved ones find hope during their ordeal. The research team includes Dr Laurie Lepherd (Centre for Health Sciences Research) and Dr Coralie Graham (School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery).

Drs. CoralieGraham and Laurie LepherdDr Lepherd said prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men worldwide and the fifth most common cancer diagnosed overall. “While the rate of prostate cancer in the population is increasing, the mortality rate is decreasing – men will live longer and may need greater access to the development and use of their coping strategies,” Dr Lepherd said.

“While the journey with prostate cancer can be very difficult for men, it can also be difficult for their partners. Two aspects of life that can assist men and women in these difficult times are lift (the way they are able to rise above their day-to-day troubles) and hope (the quality that provides expectation of comfort for them).”

Dr Lepherd said the study was designed to answer a number of questions about how men and their families cope during their prostate cancer journey. “We want to hear the stories (by telephone) of men who have had or currently have localised prostate cancer, and partners of men in these circumstances,” he said.

“Did they find lift and hope? What lifts them above the illness? Is it a connection they have with other people? Is it a religious belief? Is it a connection with the land? Is it a sense of purpose?  We would particularly welcome potential participants from rural and remote areas of Australia,” he said.

Once completed, the (anonymous) results will be made available so other men and women in similar circumstances, carers and health professionals have a greater understanding of the way people can be given even more support.

For more information, contact Dr Lepherd via phone on 07 4687 5820 or email [email protected].
Submitted by:
Rhianwen Whitney
USQ, Toowoomba

[email protected]


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