Psychological distress in spouses of men treated for early-stage prostate carcinoma

David T. Eton, Stephen J. Lepore, Vicki S. Helgeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The authors examined levels and predictors of psychological distress in the wives of men treated for early-stage prostate carcinoma (PCa). METHODS. Patients with PCa (N = 165) and spouses were interviewed to assess general and cancer-specific distress. Social and intrapersonal factors of spouses as well as clinical characteristics and quality of life of patients were assessed as potential predictors of spouses' distress. RESULTS. Spouses reported more cancer-specific distress than did patients (P < 0.001), but did not differ from patients in general distress. Several spouse-reported factors predicted higher spouses' distress, including less education (P < 0.005), worse marriage quality and less social support (Ps < 0.005), more negative social interaction with the patient (Ps < 0.001), lower self-esteem (Ps < 0.001), less positive coping (Ps < 0.005), searching for meaning (P < 0.001), not finding meaning (P < 0.005), and greater illness uncertainty (Ps < 0.001). Patients' bowel function and mental health also predicted greater spouses' distress (Ps < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS. The findings indicated that overall distress in spouses of early-stage patients with PCa was modest, and it was more likely to be predicted by psychosocial than medical factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2412-2418
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005


  • Coping
  • Distress
  • Partners
  • Personality
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Quality of life
  • Social environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological distress in spouses of men treated for early-stage prostate carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this