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Dyadic influence of hope and optimism on patient marital satisfaction among couples with advanced breast cancer

By Emily E. Rock, Jennifer L. Steiner, Kevin L. Rand and Silvia M. Bigatti


PURPOSE: An estimated 10-40 % of breast cancer (BC) patients report negative changes to their partnered relationships. Literature suggests that for these patients, marital satisfaction is related to depression and other quality of life factors which are associated with survivorship and treatment response. However, existing literature does not provide a clear explanation of the factors that strengthen vs. create strain in couples facing cancer. Given the benefits of a satisfying relationship to patient quality of life, it is important to better understand factors that put patients at greater risk for marital difficulties. This study examined the differential and combined roles of hope and optimism among BC patients and their partners on patient marital satisfaction. METHOD: Fifty-six breast cancer patient-partner dyads completed study questionnaires as part of a larger study. Regression analyses were used to examine the main and interaction effects of patient and partner hope and optimism on patient marital satisfaction. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Higher patient and partner hope predicted greater patient marital satisfaction, whereas optimism did not. These results are divergent from the literature on optimism and well-being, which shows the importance of studying these two traits concurrently. Interaction effects suggest certain combinations of patient and partner hope and optimism are more beneficial than others for patient marital satisfaction and suggest a dyadic approach is important for investigation of well-being in breast cancer

Topics: Hope, Optimism, Breast cancer, Well-being, Dyads, Marital satisfaction
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s00520-014-2209-0
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Provided by: IUPUIScholarWorks

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