Marital adjustment, satisfaction and dissolution among hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients and spouses: A prospective, five-year longitudinal investigation

School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105 , USA.
Psycho-Oncology (Impact Factor: 2.44). 02/2010; 19(2):190-200. DOI: 10.1002/pon.1542
Source: PubMed


To examine the trajectory of marital adjustment, satisfaction and dissolution among 121 hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) couples-as a function of role (patient or spouse) and gender.
Prospective, longitudinal design. Participants completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale at six time points: pre-transplant (4-7 days after beginning medical workup prior to starting transplant), 6 months post-transplant, and 1, 2, 3 and 5 years post-transplant. They also reported on marital status over time.
Participants ranged in age from 23-68 (52% female patients and 48% female spouses). Ninety-eight patients received an allogeneic transplant; 23 received an autologous transplant. Marital dissolution was uncommon (four divorces since the transplant among 55 participating 5-year survivors, 7%). Dyadic satisfaction was stable over time for both male and female patients and male spouses, but not for female spouses who reported reductions in satisfaction at all time points relative to baseline.
Couples were by and large resilient. However, caregiver-specific gender differences indicate an increased risk for relationship maladjustment and dissatisfaction among female spouses and ultimately, female spouse/male patient couples.

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    • "These results are in line with prior research that showed a negative effect of spousal health among middle-aged and older adults (e.g., Strawbridge et al., 2007; Yorgason et al., 2008). In addition, studies have shown that this negative partner effect is particularly valid for wives (e.g., Langer et al., 2010 "
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    • "-Female caregivers, in contrast, showed elevations at multiple time points (p < 0.01). Langer et al., 2010 (USA) To examine the trajectory of marital adjustment and satisfaction among hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) couples e as a function of role and gender L 121 Couples pre-HSCT. SCG: males 63, females 58. "
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