Patients with prostate cancer (PC) and their spouses are confronted with several treatment-related and psychosocial challenges that can reduce their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Patients with advanced PC (aPC) and their spouses are at highest risk for psychological distress and show lower HRQoL compared with couples in other phases. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychological interdependencies between HRQoL and anxiety, fear of progression (FoP), and depression in patients with aPC and their spouses.
Ninety-six heterosexual couples with aPC participated in this cross-sectional study. Patients and spouses provided information about anxiety and depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-4), fear of progression (short form of the Fear of Progression Questionnaire), and HRQoL (EORTC QoL-C30, version 3). Psychological interdependencies were analyzed with various actor-partner interdependence models using structural equation modeling.
Anxiety, FoP, and depression were significant predictors of HRQoL for patients with aPC and their spouses (actor effects). Spouses' anxiety and FoP were negatively associated with patients' HRQoL (partner effects), showing that patients' HRQoL is associated with their own and their spouses' anxiety and FoP. No partner effect was revealed between depression and HRQoL in the patients or spouses.
The resulted partner effects between spouses and patients underline the importance of considering HRQoL in patients with aPC from a dyadic perspective. It is important that physicians explore patients' and spouses' needs and psychological burden to offer support and access to psycho-oncological services. Future studies are needed to investigate the effects of suitable interventions on spouses' anxiety and FoP.
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2022 May 13 [Epub ahead of print]
Christina Sauer, Andreas Ihrig, Tobias Hanslmeier, Johannes Huber, Kiriaki Hiller, Hans-Christoph Friederich, Imad Maatouk
Department of General Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. ., Department of General Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany., Department of Urology, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany., Department of Medical Oncology, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg University Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 460, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany., Section of Psychosomatic Medicine, Psychotherapy and Psychooncology, Department of Internal Medicine II, Julius-Maximilian University Würzburg, Oberdürrbacher Straße 6, 97080, Würzburg, Germany. .