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J Support Oncol. 2012 Mar-Apr;10(2):72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.suponc.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Spiritual well-being and quality of life of women with ovarian cancer and their spouses.

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Cancer Center, May Clinic, Rochester, NY, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Support Oncol. 2012 May-Jun;10(3):131.



There is little research on the quality of life (QOL) and spiritual well-being (SWB) of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and their spouses.


We compared the SWB and QOL of these women and their spouses over a 3-year period.


This is a descriptive, longitudinal study involving 70 women with ovarian cancer and 26 spouses. Questionnaires were completed postoperatively and by mail 3, 7, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months later. All participants completed the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Spiritual Well-Being-Expanded Version, Symptom Distress Scale, and open-ended questions about changes in their lives. Diagnosed women completed the FACIT-Ovarian and spouses the Caregiver Burden Interview and Linear Analog Self-Assessment scales.


Women reported a high level of SWB over time. Spouses' SWB was significantly worse than the women's at 1 and 3 years (P ≤ .05). Insomnia, fatigue, and outlook/worry were problematic across time, with no significant differences between women and spouses except that women experienced more insomnia through 3 months (P = .02). Emotional well-being was compromised over time for the women but not their spouses until year 3. Physical and social well-being were compromised in spouses across time, while women's social well-being remained high and physical well-being was problematic only for the first year.


Limitations include a small spouse sample and, due to the disease process, attrition over time.


Ovarian cancer has significant, but different, effects on women and spouses. Some effects are static, while others are not, which underscores the need for continual monitoring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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