Holding Back, Intimacy, and Psychological and Relationship Outcomes Among Couples Coping With Prostate Cancer.

The present study evaluated intimacy as a mechanism for the effects of holding back sharing concerns about cancer on couples' psychological distress, well-being, and marital satisfaction using the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), and evaluated 2 possible moderators of these associations: the number of patient and spouse cancer concerns.

We had 139 men treated for localized prostate cancer in the past year and their spouses complete surveys about holding back sharing cancer concerns, intimacy, distress, and relationship satisfaction, as well as patient and spouse cancer concerns. APIM-indicated that the association between holding back sharing concerns, and patient and spouse distress, well-being, and relationship satisfaction could be partially accounted for by their influence on patient and spouse perceptions of relationship intimacy. The number of cancer concerns did not moderate the mediational model. Holding back has strong associations with both partners' well-being and distress. Holding back sharing concerns was particularly detrimental for couples' intimacy and relationship satisfaction. (PsycINFO Database Record

J Fam Psychol. 2015 Jul 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Manne SL, Kissane D, Zaider T, Kashy D, Lee D, Heckman C, Virtue SM.