Navigation Links
Men leave: Separation and divorce far more common when the wife is the patient
Date:11/10/2009

SEATTLE A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is the patient, according to a study that examined the role gender played in so-called "partner abandonment." The study also found that the longer the marriage the more likely it would remain intact.

The study confirmed earlier research that put the overall divorce or separation rate among cancer patients at 11.6 percent, similar to the population as a whole. However, researchers were surprised by the difference in separation and divorce rates by gender. The rate when the woman was the patient was 20.8 percent compared to 2.9 percent when the man was the patient.

"Female gender was the strongest predictor of separation or divorce in each of the patient groups we studied," said Marc Chamberlain, M.D., a co-corresponding author and director of the neuro-oncology program at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Chamberlain is also a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The study, "Gender Disparity in the Rate of Partner Abandonment in Patients with Serious Medical Illness," was published in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Cancer. The other corresponding author is Michael Glanz, M.D., of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Why men leave a sick spouse can be partly explained by their lack of ability, compared to women, to make more rapid commitments to being caregivers to a sick partner and women's better ability to assume the burdens of maintaining a home and family, the study authors said.

Researchers at three medical centers -- the SCCA, Huntsman and Stanford University School of Medicine -- enrolled a total of 515 patients in 2001 and 2002 and followed them until February 2006. The men and women were in three diagnostic groups: those with a malignant primary brain tumor (214 patients), those with a solid tumor with no central nervous system involvement (193 patients) and those with multiple sclerosis (108 patients). Almost half of the patients were women.

Chamberlain said the study was initiated because doctors noticed that in their neuro-oncology practices, divorce occurred almost exclusively when the wife was the patient. The researchers enrolled groups of patients with other cancers and with multiple sclerosis to separate the impact of oncologic versus neurological disease. The results showed a stronger gender disparity for divorce when the wife was the patient in the general oncology and multiple sclerosis groups (93 percent and 96 percent respectively, compared to 78 percent for the primary brain tumor group).

The study also found correlations between age and length of marriage and the likelihood of divorce or separation. The older the woman was the more likely her partnership would end. However, longer marriages remained more stable.

Researchers also measured some health and quality of life outcomes among the patients who separated or divorced. They found that patients used more antidepressants, participated less in clinical trials, had more frequent hospitalizations, were less likely to complete radiation therapy and more likely not to die at home, according to the study.

"We believe that our findings apply generally to patients with life-altering medical illness," the authors wrote. "We recommend that medical providers be especially sensitive to early suggestions of marital discord in couples affected by the occurrence of a serious medical illness, especially when the woman is the affected spouse and it occurs early in the marriage. Early identification and psychosocial intervention might reduce the frequency of divorce and separation, and in turn improve quality of life and quality of care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dean Forbes
dforbes@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The Quantum Group, Inc. Announces Separation of Units
2. Hillenbrand Announces Mailing of Proxy Regarding Changing of Company Name in Conjunction with Planned Separation
3. Park Dental Announces Separation From Its Administrative Service Provider
4. Hillenbrand Releases Investor Roadshow Materials and Updated Financial Guidance Related to Separation Of Hill-Rom and Batesville Casket
5. Hillenbrand Industries Announces Formal Board Approval of Separation by Means of Share Distribution and Details for Completion
6. Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. Announces Completion of Separation of Hillenbrand Industries Creating Two Public Companies
7. Separation from mom, dad linked with learning trouble in kids
8. Holiday Season Amplifies Hurt of Separation and Divorce: Economic Woes Add to Pressure
9. ThermoGenesis Introduces New Cell Separation Technology for Veterinary Use at Major Equine Convention
10. Molecule tracking reveals mechanism of chromosome separation in dividing cells
11. Microfluidic Systems (MFSI) is Granted a Microfluidic Cartridge Patent for DNA Separation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... American Farmer, will feature Chr. Hansen, Inc (CHR ... air fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. Check your ... Chr. Hansen in Denmark in 1874 after a groundbreaking discovery of how to industrialize ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... and related services to families and business owners in and around Lackawanna County, ... benefit senior citizens in the area. , Meals on Wheels of NEPA provides ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... All-Star Insurance, a family managed agency that offers insurance management assistance and personal ... of a new charity drive to benefit women in the area diagnosed with breast ... estimated 252, 710 new cases of invasive or high risk breast cancer will be ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... in the Houston area with access to asset protection and financial planning services, ... event aimed at improving the lives of children with cancer and other chronic ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Plastic Surgery Associates is proud to report that ... Each year, research and information firm, Castle Connolly, releases their list of the most ... marks the 3rd time that Dr. Canales has been recognized by Castle ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/1/2017)... BELL, Pa. , June 1, 2017 ... (PRN) and Veterinarian Recommended Solutions (VRS), and KD Pharma ... investment in Nutriceutical Holdings by KD Pharma Group. KD ... Holdings with the option to acquire the entire company. ... partner in KD. They are committed to growing the ...
(Date:5/29/2017)... 29, 2017  Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... enables the functional selection of stem cells, today provided ... first quarter ended March 31 st , 2017. ... in the first quarter of 2017," said Dr. Shai ... announced the treatment of the first blood cancer patient ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Calif. , May 23, 2017  Leaf ... most innovative medical devices for pressure ulcer prevention, ... the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, National ... May 22-25. The Leaf Patient Monitoring ... specifically for the hospital environment.  The system seamlessly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: