Medline: 8153845

Social Work in Health Care 19(2): 45-65, 1993.

Recognizing cancer as a family disease: worries and support reported by patients and spouses.

Davis-Ali SH, Chesler MA, Chesney BK


Data were obtained via mailed questionnaire from 91 adults with cancer and 78 spouses of adults with cancer. Findings suggest that spouses and patients worry equally about their own personal health, and that spouses worry more about patients' futures than the patients do themselves. In addition, spouses and patients report participating equally in the treatment process, yet patients report receiving significantly more social support than do spouses. The results point to the need for expanded attention to the concept of cancer as a "family disease," with special emphasis on the unique and often neglected experience of spouses of adult cancer patients.

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Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn
Medical Center

Dr. G. Quade