Towards an Understanding of Men’s Experiences of Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS)

Prof Doc Thesis

Farrar, S. 2020. Towards an Understanding of Men’s Experiences of Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS). Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsFarrar, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a chronic pain condition that can affect men of any age, and has an estimated prevalence of up to 16% (Mehik, Hellström, Lukkarinen, Sarpola, & Järvelin, 2000). Aetiology is currently unknown, and it is a highly heterogeneous condition characterised by persistent pain in the pelvic region, urinary difficulties, and sexual dysfunction. Current literature indicates that it pervades many aspects of men’s lives, and is associated with a significantly impaired quality of life, comparable to other long-term conditions such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes mellitus, and congestive heart failure (McNaughton Collins et al., 2001; Wenninger, Heiman, Rothman, Berghuis, & Berger, 1996). Despite this, extremely few studies have explored men’s experiences of living with CP/CPPS.
This study aimed to increase understanding of men’s experiences of living with CP/CPPS, with a particular consideration of how they influence and are influenced by social contexts and relationships. A qualitative approach was adopted, and data from 8 semi-structured interviews was analysed using thematic analysis. All participants were based in the UK and had a diagnosis of CP/CPPS. Duration of illness within the sample ranged from 3 to 43 years.
Three overarching themes were constructed: ‘trying to make sense of what is “wrong” in “a spiral of confusion,”’ ‘managing day-to-day with an illness that is debilitating and unpredictable,’ and ‘sociality and isolation.’ Similar to other studies, it was found that participants often experienced CP/CPPS as an overwhelming and frightening illness, which could challenge day-to-day life, and the assumptions men held about themselves. Relationships and social contexts were found to be important contexts in which participants sought support and made sense of what it meant to live with CP/CPPS. A number of clinical and research implications are discussed, highlighting that there is much more that can be done to alleviate suffering for men affected by CP/CPPS.

KeywordsChronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS); experiences; men; chronic pelvic pain
PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
Online01 Oct 2020
Publication process dates
SubmittedJun 2020
Deposited01 Oct 2020
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