Serious and chronic illnesses occur within a family context, affecting not only the patient but also the spouse/partner, children and extended family network. Spouses/partners are likely to experience the greatest personal impact, and may influence patient adjustment. Also, the intimate relationship may be affected by the illness experience. This study examined whether dyadic concordance on the characteristics of prostate cancer (PC) was related to health-related quality of life (HRQOL), psychological distress and marital adjustment in PC patients and their female partners. Couples (N=164) completed questionnaires on the appraisals of PC, and individual and dyadic adjustment. Patient and partner PC appraisal ratings were positively correlated. There was a general pattern of patients and partners in concordant dyads, versus those in dyads in which spouses maximised or minimised PC characteristics, reporting significantly better individual HRQOL outcomes, although there were several exceptions. Patient-partner appraisal (dis)agreement generally did not significantly predict dyadic adjustment. Overall, results suggest that dyadic disagreement is associated with worse HRQOL in couples facing PC.
© 2011 Taylor & Francis