Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from female cancers in Australia with the majority of women presenting with advanced disease. The burden of caregiving is largely borne by male carers; however, little research has examined the challenges male ovarian cancer caregivers (MOCC) experience. This study aimed to explore the psychosocial wellbeing and cancer-related challenges experienced by MOCC.
A cross-sectional small-scale exploratory online survey study recruited 36 MOCC. The study questionnaire was comprised of the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire Depression Module (PHQ-9), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Scale (FACT-G) Family Member, Fear of Cancer Recurrence Scale, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Fatigue Scale (FACTIT-F) and Cancer-Related Challenges Scale (CRCS).
The most common challenges ever experienced were worry about the future (91%), fear of metastasis (90%) and feeling worried or uncertain (88%). The most common current challenges were fear of cancer recurrence (75%), fear of metastasis (68%) and changes in sexual relationships (64%). Depression and anxiety were significantly correlated with all psychosocial variables highlighting the relationships between elements of wellbeing for MOCC. Clinical levels of fear of cancer recurrence were reported by 89% of MOCC.
The challenges faced by MOCC are psychosocial in nature. There is a high correlation between anxiety and depression, and this coupled with the fear of disease recurrence indicates a greater need for screening of these issues, appropriate referral and development of support resources for this high-risk group of cancer carers.

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.