Predictors of long-term distress in female partners of men diagnosed with prostate cancer
Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Objective: Female partners of men with prostate cancer (PCa) experience heightened psychological distress; however, long‐term distress for this group is not well described. We examined partner's psychological and cancer‐specific distress over 2 years and predictors of change.
Methods: A cohort of 427 female partners (63% response; mean age 62.6 y) of PCa survivors completed baseline (2‐4 y post‐PCa treatment) assessments of anxiety, depression, and cancer‐ specific distress and were followed up at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Caregiver burden, threat and challenge appraisal, self‐efficacy, and dyadic adjustment were assessed as potential predictors of distress.
Results: Over time, 23% to 25% of women reported anxiety; 8% to 11% depression; 5% to 6% high cancer‐specific distress. Higher caregiver burden and more threat appraisals were associated with increased distress, anxiety, depression, and cancer‐specific distress over time. Higher dyadic adjustment over time and more challenge appraisals at 24 months were associated with less distress, anxiety, and depression. Increased partner self‐efficacy was associated with lower distress and depression at baseline.
Conclusions: A substantial subgroup of partners experience ongoing anxiety, with depression less prevalent but also persistent. Caregiver burden, partner self‐efficacy, threat, and challenge appraisals present as potential supportive care targets.