Navigation Links
Cancer Poses Challenges for Husbands' Frame of Mind
Date:3/20/2008

They take their cues from wives' emotional well-being, study suggests

THURSDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- For couples coping with cancer, the physical health of the husband -- as either patient or caregiver -- appears particularly influenced by the wife's frame of mind, new research suggests.

The finding suggests that a husband is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in his wife's experience of psychological distress more so than she is to his.

The research was presented recently by Youngmee Kim, director of the American Cancer Society's Family Studies Research, during the launch of an ACS "Hope Lodge" in New York City -- part of the society's nationwide network of free temporary housing for cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Kim said the finding, which is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine , evolved from the premise that "cancer care-giving is equally distressing to the cancer caregiver as it is to the patient."

And, she stressed, "the issue has a great impact on society," given that nearly 11 million cancer survivors are currently living in the United States --a figure likely to rise as the population ages.

To gauge the nuances of this impact, Kim conducted a survey of the quality of life and psychological distress experienced by 168 married patient-caregiver pairs -- half coping with breast cancer, half coping with prostate cancer.

Most of the participants were white, middle-aged, relatively affluent and well-educated. Most were interviewed by mail approximately two years following the initial cancer diagnosis.

Kim found that although all the caregivers and patients appeared to both affect and be affected by each other's state of mind, gender drove some differences in the pair's dynamic -- with men generally more vulnerable.

The greater the psychological distress among wives suffering from breast cancer, the poorer the physical health of their caretaking husbands -- regardless of the husband's own quality of life. And the greater the psychological distress among wives attending to the needs of their husbands coping with prostate cancer, the poorer the physical health of the male patient.

Kim suggested that the greater sensitivity observed among men could be a function not just of typical gender roles but also of related communication patterns.

"Females go out with friends and talk about their problems," she said. "But often a man's best friend is his wife, and if the wife is not emotionally available, then the man tends to physicalize the stress."

"But whether male or female, managing stress is very important for caregivers," Kim added. "Psycho-social support -- maybe through meeting with a local group of caregivers -- is a great resource for that. And it's also important to try to make sure there is always some open communication between the couple."

Julia Rowland, director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Survivorship, said the study carries an important public health message.

"We need to recognize how important caregivers are," she said. "Because social support is an important buffer for all sorts of outcomes -- not only for affording patients a better quality of life, but also to help them live longer.

"But when these relationships are stressed and go wrong, the opposite can occur," Rowland cautioned. "So we recognize that a survivor is not just the individual with the disease but also the caregiver. There is mutuality about the experience."

She added, "And as the population ages, this is going to be a growing concern for more and more of us who will carry a history of cancer. So it's very important that caregivers get the help they need, if they're going to be responsible for playing an important role in helping patients."

More information

To learn more about cancer and caregivers, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Youngmee Kim, Ph.D., director, Family Studies Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Julia Rowland, Ph.D., director, Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; March 14, 2008, presentation, American Cancer Society, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
2. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
3. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
4. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
5. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
6. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
7. Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
8. Immune deficiency linked to a type of eye cancer
9. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
10. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
11. First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension ... that it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to ... its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin ... companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and ... This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... awards today at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte ... have authored journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... startling report released today, National Safety Council research shows ... plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a "Making ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... states, three – Michigan , Missouri ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of ... was recognized for its support of Premier members through ... clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... this recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: