Marital satisfaction of advanced prostate cancer survivors and their spousal caregivers: the dyadic effects of physical and mental health

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Objective:Coping with the physical and mental side effects of diagnosis and treatment for advanced prostate cancer (APC) is a challenge for both survivors and their spousal caregivers. There is a gap in our current understanding of the dyadic adjustment process on marital satisfaction in this population. The current study sought to: (1) document levels of physical and mental health, and marital satisfaction, and (2) evaluate the relationship between physical and mental health with marital satisfaction in this understudied population.Methods:APC survivors who had undergone androgen deprivation therapy within the past year and their spousal caregiver participated in the study (N = 29 dyads). Physical and mental health was assessed using the MOS SF-36 Health Survey and marital satisfaction was evaluated using the Dyadic Adjustment Scale.Results:The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model revealed strong relations between physical and mental health with marital satisfaction for both survivor and caregiver (actor effects). Furthermore, caregiver physical and mental health was related with the survivor's marital satisfaction (partner effect).Conclusions:Levels of mental health and marital satisfaction were comparable to community-based and prostate cancer samples, while physical health was higher. Marital satisfaction between APC survivors and their spousal caregivers may be influenced by both physical and mental health functioning. In particular, APC survivor functioning may affect his marital satisfaction as well as his spousal caregiver's. This has implications for psychosocial interventions for APC dyads. Further evaluation of the complex nature of survivor/caregiver dyadic adjustment in dealing with APC is necessary. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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