Mood Disturbance in the Cancer Setting: Effects of Gender and Patient/Spouse Role

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Abstract

This article highlights findings from the cancer-specific and other medical caregiving literatures and details a 2-year longitudinal prospective investigation of mood among hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients and spousal caregivers (CGs). Emphases are on gender and role (patient, spouse). Couples (n = 131) completed the Profile of Mood States before HSCT, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after HSCT. Data from a nonmedical sample were also collected for normative comparison. Negative affect declined over time for both patients and CGs (P < 0.05), with gender differences among CGs (P < 0.01) but not patients (P > 0.05). Female CGs reported greater depression and anxiety than male CGs. In gender-specific normative comparisons, male and female patients and male CGs showed elevations in negative affect before transplant (P < 0.01) but not after (P > 0.05). Female CGs, in contrast, showed elevations at multiple time points (P < 0.01), suggesting slower resolution of distress over time. These results highlight the need to consider time, gender, and role when addressing emotional, marital, or psychiatric needs in couples. Further investigation is required to identify sources and long-term sequelae of negative affect among female CGs and their partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-285
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry
Volume8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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