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Cancer patients, spouses report similar emotional distress, U-M study finds
Date:9/21/2007

ds often focus mainly on the patient who has cancer and dont realize the illness has enormous ramifications on the family, especially the spouse, Northouse says.

The researchers urge more health care interventions aimed at emotional distress for both patients and caregivers. At the same time, caregivers should recognize they too are emotionally affected by this illness and seek appropriate support. Patients also can play a role by encouraging their spouse to be actively involved in their care.

Patients need to recognize this illness affects their partners as well as themselves. They need to find a way to be supportive of their partner; for example, including them in interactions with physicians so the partners get the information they desperately want. Work as a team together to deal with the illness. I think patients may underestimate the needs of their partners to get information. Those partners need first-hand information. If theyre able to go into the consultation, theyre able to get their questions answered, Northouse says.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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