Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Oncol Nurs Forum. 1998 May;25(4):751-60.

Coping with a partner's cancer: adjustment at four stages of the illness trajectory.

Author information

1
Indiana University School of Nursing Center for Nursing Research, Indianapolis, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To study the psychosocial adjustment of partners/spouses of patients with cancer at four specific stages of the illness trajectory time of diagnosis, period of first remission, first recurrence, and period of metastatic disease.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional, descriptive survey.

SETTINGS:

A university cancer center, a private cancer clinic, and a clinic in a large city serving people who are uninsured and unable to pay for their treatment.

SAMPLE:

175 partners of patients who were in one of four specific stages of the illness trajectory participated in this study, Various types of cancer were represented. Seventy-seven participants were men, and 98 were women; their mean age was 49 years.

METHODS:

A survey questionnaire was used to collect data on psychosocial adjustment, specific sources of social support, dyadic adjustment, coping strategies, emotional response, cognitive response, and personal control.

FINDINGS:

Results indicate that partners of patients who were experiencing a recurrence of their illness or who were in the metastatic stage of the disease were more vulnerable to increased distress and problems of adjustment. Women also reported higher levels of distress than men. Variables that had the most significant direct affect on adjustment were emotional response, cognitive response, family support, and partner cohesion. Coping strategies influenced emotion and cognition.

CONCLUSIONS:

Caring for partners is essential to promoting quality of life for the patient and the family.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE:

Assessment, providing an opportunity to express concerns, and referral for psychosocial intervention as necessary are important to promote the highest possible quality of life for partners and patients.

PMID:
9599358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center