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Psychological Distress and Resilience among Partners of Cancer Patients Receiving Outpatient Chemotherapy

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Background: Partners of cancer patients are at elevated risk of experiencing psychological distress. Psychological distress is known to be countered by the protective factor, resilience. The relationship between psychological distress and resilience among partners of cancer patients remains to be examined by quantitative studies. We aimed to investigate the association between psychological distress, and resilience and cancer-related psychological experience among partners of cancer patients receiving outpatient chemotherapy. Methods: Spouses and significant others of cancer patients were consecutively recruited into our cross-sectional study. The primary outcome was psychological distress, as assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The primary explanatory variables were resilience, as assessed by the short Japanese version of the Resilience Scale, and cancer-related psychological experience. Traumatic stress was assessed by the Japanese-language version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, while perception of caregiving burden and patients’ symptoms, and psychological support needs were assessed by single-item questions. To examine the association between psychological distress, and resilience and partners’ psychological experience, hierarchical multiple regression analysis was applied. Results: Psychological distress was evident in 33 of 109 partners, (30.3 , 95 confidence interval, 21.5 - 39.1). After adjusting for potential confounders, hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed the main effect of resilience. In the final step, while resilience was not found to be significant, psychological distress was observed to be positively associated with traumatic stress and perceived caregiving burden (β = 0.64, p β = 0.22, p Conclusions: The protective effect of resilience on partners’ psychological distress is moderated by traumatic stress and perceived caregiving burden during patients’ chemotherapy. The findings of this study suggest that a systematic way of providing appropriate psychological service to appropriate partners of cancer patients is required.

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