Living with prostate cancer: patients' and spouses' psychosocial status and quality of life.
ABSTRACT Despite the high prevalence of prostate cancer, little information is available on the quality of life of men and their spouses during the phases of illness. This study assessed patients' and spouses' quality of life, appraisal of illness, resources, symptoms, and risk for distress across three phases of prostate cancer: newly diagnosed, biochemical recurrence, and advanced.
The sample consisted of 263 patient/spouse dyads. A stress-appraisal conceptual model guided the selection of variables which were then assessed with established instruments. Study variables were examined for phase effects (differences in dyads across three phases), role effects (patients v spouses), and phase-by-role interactions (differences within dyads across phases) using analysis of variance (ANOVA).
More phase effects than role effects were found, indicating that the psychosocial experiences of patients and their spouses were similar, but differed from dyads in other phases. Dyads in the advanced phase were at highest risk for distress. These patients had the lowest physical quality of life, and their spouses had the lowest emotional quality of life of all participants. Dyads in the biochemical recurrence and advanced phases had more negative appraisals of illness and caregiving, greater uncertainty, and more hopelessness compared with dyads in the newly diagnosed phase. Spouses, in contrast to patients, had less confidence in their ability to manage the illness and perceived less support across all phases of illness.
Phase-specific programs of care are needed to assist both men with prostate cancer and their spouses to manage the effects of illness.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Distress in husbands of women with early-stage breast cancer may be equivalent to or even higher than their wives. Husbands often struggle to help and support their wives cope with the illness and its treatment. In response, we developed a five-session group educational counselling intervention (Helping Her Heal-Group (HHH-G)) for husbands of women with early-stage breast cancer. The primary aim of the current pilot study was to determine the acceptability and feasibility of HHH-G and to obtain a preliminary estimate of its impact on participating men's skills, self-confidence and self care. Secondary aims were to assess the impact of the intervention on both the participating spouses' and wives' ratings of marital quality and depressed mood. METHODS: The study employed a one-arm, pre-post-intervention design whereby participating men (n = 54) and their wives (n = 54) independently completed measures at baseline (T0), immediately following the last session (T1) and 3 months after the last session (T2). RESULTS: Overall, there was very high study retention (87%). On the basis of the questionnaire data, we found significant improvements in spouses' self-efficacy (p < 0.001) and self-reported skills including wife support (p = 0.003) and self-care (p < 0.001). In addition, there was a significant improvement in wives' mood scores (p = 0.003). Post-intervention interviews support acceptability and impact of the HHH-G intervention, and provide support for the group format of the program. CONCLUSIONS: The feasibility and acceptability of HHH-G was supported, and treatment outcomes suggest the potential benefits of the intervention. Phase III evaluation of HHH-G program is warranted. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Psycho-Oncology 03/2013; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Because of improved prostate cancer detection, more patients begin androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) earlier and remain on it longer than before. Patients now may be androgen deprived for over a decade, even when they are otherwise free of cancer symptoms. An ADT Survivorship Working Group was formed to develop and evaluate interventions to limit the physiological and emotional trauma patients and their partners experience from this treatment. The multidisciplinary Working Group met for 2 days to define the challenges couples face when patients commence ADT. A writing sub-group was formed. It compiled the meeting's proceedings, reviewed the literature and, in consultation with the other members of the working group, wrote the manuscript. Expert opinion of the side effects of ADT that affect the quality of life (QOL) of patients and their partners and the recommendations for managing ADT to optimize QOL were based on the best available literature, clinical experience, and widespread internal discussions among Working Group members. Side effects identified as particularly challenging include: (i) body feminization; (ii) changes in sexual performance; (iii) relationship changes; (iv) cognitive and affective symptoms; and (v) fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression. Recommendations for managing ADT include providing information about ADT side effects before administration of ADT, and, where appropriate, providing referrals for psychosocial support. Sexual rehabilitation principles for persons with chronic illness may prove useful. Psychological interventions for sexual sequelae need to be offered and individualized to patients, regardless of their age or partnership. Support should also be offered to partners. Our hope is that this plan will serve as a guide for optimizing how ADT is carried out and improve the lives of androgen-deprived men and their intimate partners.Journal of Sexual Medicine 09/2010; 7(9):2996-3010. · 3.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Spillover effects of illness on family members can be substantial. The objective of this study was to identify the domains of family members' health and well-being that are affected when a relative has a chronic health condition. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted in February 2012 with 49 individuals whose relatives had any of five chronic health conditions (arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's disease/dementia, cerebral palsy, and depression), purposively sampled to include different relationships with the ill relative (parent, child, spouse). Subjects were queried on whether and how having an ill relative affected their health and well-being; they were also asked about their caregiving responsibilities and the relative's health. Interview data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Family members in our sample reported experiencing psychological and non-health effects from having an ill relative, and secondarily somatic effects. Effects on emotional health were most commonly reported as psychological spillover; non-health effects frequently included changes in daily activities and provision of caregiving. Spouses of patients reported the broadest range of spillover domains affected and adolescents of ill parents the fewest. Family members reported experiencing effects that were perceived as both positive and negative. Spillover of illness onto family members encompasses a wide range of domains of health and well-being, extending beyond those included in many existing health-related quality of life measures. Outcomes measurement efforts should be expanded to adequately capture these health and well-being outcomes for analysis, to ensure that the benefits of interventions are accurately estimated and conclusions are valid.The patient 10/2013; · 1.57 Impact Factor