Perceived partner adaptation and psychosocial outcomes for newly diagnosed stage I and stage II breast cancer patients

J Psychosoc Oncol. 2009;27(1):42-58. doi: 10.1080/07347330802614774.


The current study examines the relationship between a woman's perception of her partner's emotional, behavioral, and intimate adaptation to her breast cancer and her levels of distress, well-being, and social support. Sixty-six women diagnosed with Stage I or II breast cancer within the previous year completed distress, well-being and social support measures and answered open-ended questions describing their partners' adaptation to their cancer. Women whose partners' intimate adaptation is positive had significantly lower distress, and positive emotional and intimate adaptation was related to higher well-being and social support. These results suggest that efforts to address women's psychosocial needs during their initial treatment of breast cancer should include a focus on their relationships and, possibly, interventions aimed at assisting the adjustment of their spouse or significant other.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Behavior
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Peer Group
  • Perception*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Spouses / statistics & numerical data
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires