Predictors of long-term distress in female partners of men diagnosed with prostate cancer

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Psycho-Oncology, 2018, 27 (3), pp. 946 - 954
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Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Objective: Female partners of men with prostate cancer (PCa) experience heightened psychological distress; however, long-term distress for this group is not well described. We examined partner's psychological and cancer-specific distress over 2 years and predictors of change. Methods: A cohort of 427 female partners (63% response; mean age 62.6 y) of PCa survivors completed baseline (2-4 y post-PCa treatment) assessments of anxiety, depression, and cancer-specific distress and were followed up at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Caregiver burden, threat and challenge appraisal, self-efficacy, and dyadic adjustment were assessed as potential predictors of distress. Results: Over time, 23% to 25% of women reported anxiety; 8% to 11% depression; 5% to 6% high cancer-specific distress. Higher caregiver burden and more threat appraisals were associated with increased distress, anxiety, depression, and cancer-specific distress over time. Higher dyadic adjustment over time and more challenge appraisals at 24 months were associated with less distress, anxiety, and depression. Increased partner self-efficacy was associated with lower distress and depression at baseline. Conclusions: A substantial subgroup of partners experience ongoing anxiety, with depression less prevalent but also persistent. Caregiver burden, partner self-efficacy, threat, and challenge appraisals present as potential supportive care targets.
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