The process of stem cell transplantation (SCT) is both intra and inter dependent; like patients, spousal caregivers (CGs) are affected by the experience. Few empirical investigations have focused on the needs of CGs or dyadic differences over the course of adaptation-the foci of the present study. SCT recipients and spousal CGs (n = 131 dyads) completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale at three time points: pre-transplant, 6 months post-transplant and 1 year post-transplant. A separate, non-medical group completed the POMS as a normative sample. CGs reported higher levels of depression and anxiety as compared to patients and non-medical norms. With respect to marital satisfaction, couples were matched in their perceptions of the relationship prior to transplantation but grew mismatched over time. Six months and 1 year post-transplant, CGs reported lower levels of marital satisfaction relative to their patient counterparts. Counter to prediction, change in CG marital satisfaction (from pre-transplant to 1 year post-transplant) was predicted only by CG gender, not patient physical, nor psychosocial characteristics. Findings offer implications for person-specific and relationship-protective interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health