Possible Link Between Spousal Depressed Mood, Cancer Survivor Quality of Life

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Spousal depressed mood and poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) may increase the risk of depressed mood and poor HRQoL in cancer survivors, especially female survivors, according to an article published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

A longitudinal study investigated data from the 2004-2012 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey and another sample of cancer-free dyads.

The data involved reports of depressed mood, psychologic distress, and mental and physical health-related quality of life (HRQoL) from cancer survivors and their spouses (n = 910 dyads).  The cancer survivors and their spouses reported these factors at two time points (T1/T2).

The impact of psychosocial factors at T1 on depressed mood at T2 was evaluated by dyadic multilevel models—sociodemographics, cancer type, survivor treatment status, and depressed mood at T1 were all controlled.

Results showed that cancer survivors with spouses who reported depressed mood at T1 were 4.27 times more likely to demonstrate depressed mood at the T2 report (95% CI: 2.01, 9.07]. 

When spouses reported a better mental and physical HRQoL at T1, there was a 30% decrease in cancer survivor depressed mood at T2.

The study suggests that evaluations should be conducted to see if the incorporation of spousal care into psychooncology and survivorship programs will help improve survivor outcomes.

Many Oncologists Unsatisifed with Work-Life Balance
Spousal depressed mood and poor health-related quality of life may increase risk of depressed mood in cancer survivors.
Spouses of cancer survivors experience both positive and negative effects from caregiving. However, it is less clear what role spousal well-being may have on cancer survivors.
READ FULL ARTICLE From cebp.aacrjournals.org

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