Learning Objective 1: discuss differences in physical, emotional and social adjustment based on types of patient-partner dyads enrolled in a breast cancer intervention study.
Learning Objective 2: identify factors independently associated with post-surgical adjustment of patients and partners enrolled in a breast cancer intervention study.
Background: Breast cancer is a significant health problem affecting women and their partners across the diagnostic, treatment, and recovery phases.
Purpose: This secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial compared emotional, physical, and social adjustment among patient-partner dyads receiving psycho-educational and telephone counseling interventions to those receiving standard care for breast cancer.
Sample: 202 patient-partner dyads (n=112 intimate partner dyads, n=58 family member dyads, and n=32 non-family dyads).
Objectives: To compare patient and partner demographic and pre-surgical characteristics, post-surgical adjustment outcomes, and factors independently associated with post-surgical adjustment among dyad types.
Results: Patients in intimate partner dyads were younger, had greater incomes, and discovered the lump by routine mammogram. In pre-surgical comparisons, there were no significant differences based on dyad types in emotional or social adjustment. Patients in intimate partner dyads reported higher levels of physical symptoms. In post-surgical comparisons, there were no significant differences in patients' psychological well-being, but patients with intimate partners had greater side effect incidence and distress, as well as problems with social and domestic adjustment. For partners, there were no pre-surgical differences based on dyad types in emotional or physical, domestic, or social adjustment. However, intimate partner dyads had more problems in the vocational (work) adjustment. In post-surgical comparisons, partners in intimate partner dyads indicated poorer psychological well-being. There were no significant differences in dyad types in physical symptoms or overall health of partners. Partners in intimate partner dyads had more problems in social and domestic adjustment. Patient and partner age, patient prior family history, current stage of disease, education, and income were independently associated with selected adjustment outcomes.
Conclusion: Physical, emotional, and social adjustment outcomes differ based on dyad type. Intimate patient-partner dyads experience more problems with adjustment. When designing interventions, consideration must be given to types of patient-partner dyads.
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