Surgery for prostate cancer may affect relationship satisfaction among couples, which may ultimately disrupt recovery, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Psycho-Oncology has shown.

For the study, researchers enrolled patients with stage 1 to 2 prostate cancer and their spouses from a urology clinic. All participants completed questionnaires on demographics, mental and physical health quality of life, and relationship satisfaction at diagnosis, 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months following prostatectomy.

Then, researchers assessed the effect of each partner’s mental and physical quality of life on relationship satisfaction.

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Results showed that both patients and spouses experienced reduced mental and physical health at 1 month after surgery, but health was mostly improved at 6 and 12 months.

Researchers found that patient’s physical health correlated with patient’s relationship satisfaction, and both patient’s and spouse’s mental health were associated with their own relationship satisfaction.

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The study demonstrated that patient’s and spouse’s physical health negatively impacted each other’s relationship satisfaction at 1 month post-prostatectomy, while spouse’s mental health correlated with patient’s relationship satisfaction during the year after cancer treatment.

The findings suggest that psychosocial interventions directed at improving relationship satisfaction for couples with prostate cancer should be implemented throughout the year after surgery.


  1. Ross KM, Ranby KW, Woolridge JS, et al. Effects of physical and mental health on relationship satisfaction: a dyadic, longitudinal examination of couples facing prostate cancer. Psychoncology. 2015. [epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/pon.3931.