Article

Interdependent anxiety and psychological distress in women with breast cancer and their partners

Department of Communication, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Psycho-Oncology (Impact Factor: 4.04). 07/2007; 16(7):634-43. DOI: 10.1002/pon.1111
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of interdependence on anxiety within dyads where one person was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Perceptions of relationship quality were expected to mitigate the anxiety experienced by both members of the dyad. 96 dyads participated in a 3-wave longitudinal study that took place over 10 weeks. Dyads were composed of a woman with stage I-III breast cancer who was currently undergoing treatment, and a partner who she nominated to participate in the study along with her. Results indicated that anxiety felt by women with breast cancer was consistently associated with that of her partner. Structural equation analyses suggest that the within-dyad influence runs mostly from partners' anxiety to the anxiety of women with breast cancer. Partners' anxiety was also associated with other indicators of the women's well being including depression, fatigue, and symptom management. Perceptions of relationship quality from women with breast cancer and their partners were negatively associated with partners' anxiety. However, women's anxiety was only correlated with their partners', but not their own, perceptions of relationship quality. These findings underscore the benefit of having partners who are able to cope with or get help for their own personal distress as women cope with the stress of breast cancer and its treatment.

1 Follower
 · 
87 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For military couples reunited following deployment, discussing or avoiding topics is a central dimension of communication. This paper theorizes about two predictors of topic avoidance that arise from a lack of confidence in social situations: generalized anxiety and relational uncertainty. In Study 1, 220 returning service members described issues they avoid discussing upon reunion. Content analytic findings indicated eight avoided topics. In Study 2, 118 military couples reported on topic avoidance for the first 3 months after homecoming. Multilevel modeling results revealed that the generalized anxiety and relational uncertainty of actors, but not partners, were consistent predictors of topic avoidance. The findings illuminate the complexities of communicating following a tour of duty.
    Communication Monographs 12/2013; 80(4). DOI:10.1080/03637751.2013.828159 · 2.54 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Examine the psychometric properties of the Appraisal of Caregiving Scale (ACS). Data were collected as part of the FOCUS Program trial in Michigan (N=484 caregivers). Exploratory factor analysis found the ACS measured Threat, General Stress, and Benefit appraisals. Cronbach's alphas for all subscales exceeded 0.70. Construct validity analyses indicated the Threat subscale correlated significantly with concepts of avoidant coping, burden, and dyadic support (r>0.30). General Stress correlated significantly with burden (r=0.348) and dyadic support (r=-0.373), and the Benefit subscale correlated significantly with active coping (r=0.444). Known group analyses indicated that depressed caregivers had higher Threat and General Stress scores than non-depressed caregivers. Also, younger caregivers reported significantly higher scores on the General Stress subscale than older caregivers. Predictive validity analyses found appraisal scores at baseline accounted for 33.3% of the variance in hopelessness and 27.8% of the variance in depression at Time 2. The ACS is a reliable measure of Threat, General Stress, and Benefit appraisals, with some support for its validity. Health professionals may find the ACS useful for guiding intervention development. Future research should continue to examine the ACS' validity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Patient Education and Counseling 01/2015; 98(5). DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2015.01.009 · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional study for couples explores the relationship between the perceptions within the couple of the spouse's supportive behaviors and the psychological adjustment of both partners during treatment for breast cancer. Forty-eight women operated on for a non-metastatic breast cancer and their spouses completed questionnaires assessing psychological adjustment (STAI, BDI-SF), and the spouse's support behaviors during discussions about the disease (PSE). Support behaviors are positively valued by both partners, especially non-verbal comfort and concrete actions. Support by minimization is associated with fewer depressive symptoms in patients and spouses. For spouses, the positive perception of support by concrete action is associated with a lower depression score. Moreover, high adjustment difficulties for spouses are linked to greater perception differences between partners on emotional support and minimization. These results highlight the importance of non-verbal comfort and minimization for the perception of social support within the couple, and the usefulness of support by concrete actions proposed by spouses. Advices for professionals are available.
    Bulletin du cancer 08/2014; 101(7-8):690-697. DOI:10.1684/bdc.2014.1951 · 0.64 Impact Factor