Navigation Links
Marital problems lead to poorer outcomes for breast cancer patients
Date:12/8/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio Breast cancer patients who have a poor relationship with their spouse may face a more difficult road to recovery than would other women, according to a new study.

Researchers found that, over five years, patients in distressed marriages had higher levels of stress, less physical activity, slower recovery and more symptoms and signs of illness than did similar patients who reported good marriages.

"The quality of the marital relationship may not be the first thing women worry about when they get a cancer diagnosis. But it may have a significant impact on how they cope physically and emotionally," said Hae-Chung Yang, co-author of the study and research associate in psychology at Ohio State University.

"Our results suggest that the increases in stress and other problems that come with a distressed marital relationship can have real health consequences, and lead to a poorer recovery from cancer."

Yang noted that the advantages for women with good relationships held true even though the researchers took into account the patients' depression levels, cancer stage, treatment, and other factors that could have influenced the results.

The study appears online now, and will be published in a future issue of the journal Cancer. Yang conducted the study with Tammy Schuler, a doctoral student at Ohio State.

The study involved 100 women who have participated in the long-running Stress and Immunity Breast Cancer Project at Ohio State. All of the women were married or cohabitating at the time they entered the study and remained so during the five years they were followed.

Participants completed a questionnaire that measured the quality of the relationship they had with their spouse every year for the five-year study period. The majority of participants reported very little change in marital quality over the course of the study and, based on these results, they were split into two groups those who had a distressed relationship (28 women) and those who did not (72 women).

Participants were regularly measured on levels of cancer-related stress and overall stress, diet, physical activity, general physical functioning, and symptoms and signs of illness.

The results showed that women with good marriages had plenty of advantages, Yang said.

Women in both groups started the study with high and nearly equal levels of cancer-related stress.

"When you're diagnosed, that's devastating for everyone, regardless of the quality of your marriage," Yang said. "But women in good marriages saw steady reductions in their cancer-related stress, while women in distressed marriages had a much slower recovery."

In terms of overall stress, women in distressed marriages saw levels remain stable over the five years, while those in better relationships experienced a steady decline in stress levels.

Women with strong marriages had better dietary habits than those in distressed relationships, and that continued through the course of the study.

Women in strong marriages also maintained adequate levels of physical activity for a longer period of time compared to the women with distressed relationships, whose physical activity dropped steadily.

As far as overall health performance, women in bad relationships saw a significantly slower recovery than did other women. Distressed women also started with significantly higher levels of symptoms and signs of illness compared to women in good relationships, although they recovered over time to the lower levels experienced by the women with good relationships.

Yang said while other studies have looked at how a cancer diagnosis affected the quality of a marriage relationship, this may be the first study to look at how the marital relationship affects long-term recovery from cancer.

She noted that this study found, as did others, that most women do not see a change in the quality of their marital relationship after a cancer diagnosis.

"Whether you have a good or bad relationship before being diagnosed with cancer, that is not likely to change afterwards," she said.

But the nature of that marital relationship will have a big impact on recovery from cancer.

"Clearly, marital distress is a risk factor for numerous poorer outcomes and it is never late to work to improve your marriage, not only for your emotional well-being but also for your health," Yang said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Hae-Chung Yang
Yang.1043@osu.edu
614-292-3541
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. More marital happiness = less sleep complaints
2. Study examines how men and women view marital and parental time pressures
3. Marital Stress Linked to Heart Disease
4. Secondhand smoke raises odds of fertility problems in women
5. Study strengthens link between tobacco smoke and behavioral problems in boys with asthma
6. National Survey of Radiologists Reveals Systemic Problems Hurting Industry and Patient Care
7. New Scan Spots Beginning of Bone Problems in Anorexics
8. Problems with Drinking - College Drinking Games can be the Start of Lifelong Addiction Reveals Linwood Group
9. Cascading effect of even minor early problems may explain serious teen violence
10. Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
11. Foot Problems Common Among People With Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 ... ... Medical Laboratory to expanded distribution of the GlycoMark test throughout the Northeast U.S. ... recent hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes. The GlycoMark test provides a clinically proven ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) ... The annual board election process has been in place since the RBMA was founded ... Dickerson, Ed.D., FACHE, succeeds Jim Hamilton, MHA, CMM, FRBMA, as president. Dr. Dickerson the ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... The ... plaque in recently to the labor and delivery team at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance ... mothers who give birth at the hospital and decide to donate. , “Women’s ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... People are starting to accept that hearing ... aid doesn’t have the stigma it had when great-grandpa wore his hearing aids years ... in a NALA North American Speaker Series (NASS) segment. “He probably wore ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Researchers at ... of ActiGraph’s CentrePoint Data Hub in a sample of participants enrolled ... wearable activity and sleep monitoring solutions for the global scientific community. The company’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Addressing Production Complexities Through Risk Management and Quality by ... ... Market Prospects: Overcoming Production Complexities Through Risk Management and ... current trends in the global biosimilars market, with a ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and Increasing Usage of Complex Biologics during ... ... rise from USD 20 Billion in 2015 to around USD 26 ... - Innovation Driven by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and Increasing Usage ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Inc ., a digital health company focused on modernizing and ... $25 million in Series B funding led by Qiming US ... Seattle that is part of a broader family ... included participation from SR One , who led ZappRx,s ... Google Ventures). As part of the financing, Mark McDade ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: