Psychosocial Adjustment of Patients and Their Partners Following Breast Cancer Diagnosis. A Prospective Cohort Study.
Breast cancer is a major life event. A patient's experience of breast cancer may depend
heavily on her intimate partner. However, both patients and partners may experience
depressed mood or other psychosocial adjustment problems. Individual and relationship
factors, such as the couple's joint efforts to deal with the cancer experience, are likely
to contribute to their psychosocial adjustment. More knowledge is needed on the adjustment
problems patients and partners experience and how they deal with them.
The study investigates the following research questions:
- Which psychosocial adjustment problems do patients and partners experience throughout
the cancer trajectory?
- To what extent do the patient's psychosocial adjustment problems influence the
partner's psychosocial adjustment problems and vice versa?
- Which factors are associated with psychosocial adjustment problems?
- How do different strategies of dyadic coping influence the psychosocial adjustment of
both the patient and the partner?
A prospective, population-based cohort will be established of women diagnosed with breast
cancer in Denmark and their partners. The study combines questionnaire data and data from
nationwide clinical and administrative registries.
An invitation letter and study material will be sent to patients by mail. Patients will be
asked to invite their partner to participate in the study. Only couples in which both the
patient and the partner wish to participate will be asked to complete the questionnaire at 5
and 12 months of follow-up.
Up to 3000 couples (3000 patients and 3000 partners) will be asked to participate in the
study during the one year inclusion period.
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
quality of life
self-report questionnaire SF-36
Dorte Gilså Hansen, MD, PhD
Research Unit of General Practice, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark
Denmark: The Ministry of Interior and Health