Independent 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: 2.44). 07/2007; 16(7):634-43. DOI: 10.1002/pon.1111
Source: PubMed


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.

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Available from: Terry A Badger, Apr 07, 2015
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    • "In some contexts, the rate of anxiety among cancer caregivers exceeds the prevalence of anxiety among patients [3] [4] and the general population [5]. These findings are of concern, as caregivers with higher anxiety report a decrease in their own health and well-being [3] [6] [7]. "
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    • "Partners are required to support their spouses in their daily lives, to accompany them during treatments and examinations, to take greater responsibility for their home and children, all of which can lead to psychosocial problems (Given et al., 1992; Compas et al., 1994). In several studies, it was found that the partners themselves often experienced higher levels of distress than the cancer patient, and that there is a high concordance between the distress levels of the patient and the partner (Manne et al., 2004; Segrin et al., 2007; Yusoff et al., 2011). The aim of the present study therefore was to investigate anxiety, depression and sexual satisfaction levels of Turkish breast cancer patients and also their partners. "
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