FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Manne SL , Ostroff JS , Norton TR , Fox K , Goldstein L , Grana G
Cancer-related relationship communication in couples coping with early stage breast cancer
PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY. 2006 Mar;15(3) :234-247
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This longitudinal study examined the association between three types of communication strategies couples may use to handle stressors they experience during and after breast cancer treatment and psychological distress and relationship satisfaction of women with early stage breast cancer and their partners. Mutual constructive communication, mutual avoidance, and demand-withdraw communication strategies as well as psychological distress and marital satisfaction were rated by 147 patients and 127 partners during cancer treatment and 9 months later. Mutual constructive communication was associated with less distress and more relationship satisfaction for both patient and partner. Demand-withdraw communication was associated with higher distress and lower relationship satisfaction for both patient and partner. Mutual avoidance was associated with more distress for patient and partner but was not associated with relationship satisfaction. The negative association between mutual co! nstructive communication and patient distress was stronger for patients with more physical impairment. Patients' perceptions of mutual constructive communication and Mutual avoidance were associated with partners' distress, and patients' perceptions of mutual constructive and demand/withdraw Communication were associated with partners' marital satisfaction. Clinical implications for couple-focused communication skills training for cancer patients and their partners are discussed. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.