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Health Psychol. 2000 May;19(3):274-82.

Marital satisfaction in patients with cancer: does support from intimate partners benefit those who need it the most?

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Department of Social and Organizational Psychology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


This cross-sectional study assessed 3 ways of providing spousal support. Active engagement means involving the patient in discussions and using constructive problem-solving methods; protective buffering means hiding one's concerns; and overprotection refers to underestimation of the patient's capabilities, resulting in unnecessary help and excessive praise for accomplishments. Ratings of received spousal support by 68 patients with cancer revealed findings similar to those of partners' ratings of provided support. The positive association between active engagement and the patient's marital satisfaction was stronger for patients with a rather poor psychological and physical condition than for those with a rather good condition. Furthermore, protective buffering and overprotection were negatively associated with marital satisfaction only when patients experienced relatively high levels of psychological distress or physical limitations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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