Negative DC (mean 86-88) was most often used and common DC (both mean 66) was least often used. We found small to moderate interdependence (r = 0.27-0.56) between patients' and partners' DC perceptions. Compared to partners, patients were more satisfied with their DC (p < 0.001). Partners' satisfaction with DC was positively associated with their own (B = 0.40, p < 0.001) and patients' (B = 0.23, p = 0.04) EF. We found positive actor (patients B = 0.37 B = 0.13, p = 0.04) and partner (both B = 0.17, p < 0.05) associations for negative DC in patients and partners. Partners' supportive DC was negatively associated with patients (B = -0.31, p = 0.03) and partners' EF (B = -0.34, p = 0.003).
Actor-partner interdependence models were used to analyze baseline data of 566 couples facing advanced cancer participating in an observational study on quality of care and life. Measures included the DC Inventory and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire (EOQLQ-C30).
This study highlight the importance of DC (especially from the partners' perspective) for EF in advanced cancer but also identifies differences in the experience of patients and their partners. Future research is needed to understand the mechanisms of such relations and the common and unique support options that may facilitate adjustment in patients with advanced cancer and their partners.
How patients and their partners cope with advanced cancer as a couple, may impact their emotional functioning (EF). The aim of this study was to assess dyadic coping (DC) of couples confronted with advanced cancer and its association with EF.