Cancer Control Research5R03CA119764-02
Harden, Janet Kula
QUALITY OF LIFE IN PARTNERS OF SURVIVORS OF PROSTATE CANCER
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting men and their spouses. Researchers have reported a reciprocal relationship between men's treatment outcomes and spouses' quality of life; as men's problems increase, a subsequent decrease can occur in spouses' quality of life. In spite of the magnitude of this problem, there is still a critical gap in the knowledge that examines how spouses respond to the diagnosis of prostate cancer and live with the treatment effects. The purpose of this study is to determine the long-term effects of prostate cancer treatment on spouses' quality of life, marital satisfaction, and their appraisal of the illness during survivorship. The proposed R03 expands on a large multi-site prospective NCI-sponsored study on the quality of life of newly diagnosed men with prostate cancer (RO1 CA95662-02, M. Sanda PI). In the existing RO1, a limited amount of data is being collected on spouses' satisfaction with their husband's medical treatment and spouses' perceptions of their husband's cancer-related symptoms. The proposed R03 will assess spouses at 24 months and 36 months following treatment to obtain more comprehensive information about spouses' responses to the effects this illness on spouses' quality of life, marital satisfaction, and appraisal of care giving. This longitudinal study has a target population of 180 spouses. Variables measured will include demographic characteristics, disease characteristics, appraisal factors, and outcome variables. Repeated measure ANOVA, and multiple regression will be used to facilitate a better understanding of the relationship among the antecedent variables (type of treatment, cancer severity, age, education, income, and health status), the appraisal variables (general stressfulness, perceived threat, and perceived benefits) and the outcome variables (marital satisfaction and quality of life). The research proposed in this application is significant because extensive information will be obtained about factors associated with spouses' appraisal of caregiving during survivorship, marital satisfaction, and long- term quality of life following their husband's prostate cancer treatment. Further, results of this study will provide information that health professionals can use in patient education and in helping improve couples' outcomes following treatment. Findings can be used as the basis for the design and implementation of future couple-focused interventions for prostate cancer patients.