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Manne S , Badr H
Intimacy processes and psychological distress among couples coping with head and neck or lung cancers
Psycho-Oncology. 2010 Sep;19(9) :941-954
PMID: ISI:000282081000005   
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Objective: Couples coping with head and neck and lung cancers are at increased risk for psychological and relationship distress given patients' poor prognosis and aggressive and sometimes disfiguring treatments. The relationship intimacy model of couples' psychosocial adaptation proposes that relationship intimacy mediates associations between couples' cancer-related support communication and psychological distress. Because the components of this model have not yet been evaluated in the same study, we examined associations between three types of cancer-related support communication (self-disclosure, perceived partner disclosure, and protective buffering), intimacy (global and cancer-specific), and global distress among patients coping with either head and neck or lung cancer and their partners. Method: One hundred and nine patients undergoing active treatment and their partners whose average time since diagnosis was 15 months completed cross-sectional surveys. Results: For both patients and their partners, multilevel analyses using the actor-partner interdependence model showed that global and cancer-specific intimacy fully mediated associations between self-and perceived partner disclosure and distress; global intimacy partially mediated the association between protective buffering and distress. Evidence for moderated mediation was found; specifically, lower levels of distress were reported as a function of global and cancer-specific intimacy, but these associations were stronger for partners than for patients. Conclusions: Enhancing relationship intimacy by disclosing cancer-related concerns may facilitate both partners' adjustment to these illnesses. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Manne, Sharon Badr, Hoda Nci [k05 ca109008, k07 ca124668] This research was supported by an Established Investigator in Cancer Prevention and Control Award to Sharon Manne by the NCI (K05 CA109008) and by a Cancer Prevention and Control Career Development Award by the NCI (K07 CA124668) to Hoda Badr. 71 John wiley & sons ltd; the atrium, southern gate, chichester po19 8sq, w sussex, england 653hv