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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-154

Significance of psychological stress response and health-related quality of life in spouses of cancer patients when given bad news

1 Department of Nursing, Takeo Nursing School, Takeo, Japan
2 Deptartment of Anesthesiology, NHO Ureshino Medical Center, Ureshino, Japan
3 Deptartment of Palliative Care, Saga-ken Medical Center, Koseikan, Saga, japan
4 Kouhoukai Suigouen, Okawa, Fukuoka, Japan
5 Department of Comprehensive Community-based Palliative Care, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University Hospital, Saga University, Saga, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Hidetoshi Sato
Medical Director, Professor (Palliative Care), Department of Comprehensive Community-based Palliative Care, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University Hospital, Saga University; Japan; Address: 5.1.1 Nabeshima, Saga, Japan 840.8501

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.204494

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Objective: This study illuminates the degree of psychological stress response experienced by spouses of cancer patients when given bad news at three different times(notification of the name of the disease, notification of recurrence, and notification of terminality) as well as the factors that influence the response and the health status of the spouse as measured by health-related quality of life(QOL). Methods: A total of 203 individuals(57 men and 146 women) who had received the three types of news were surveyed using a self-report questionnaire on psychological stress response, marital satisfaction, and health-related QOL scales. Results: The degree of the psychological stress response was the highest for notification of terminality, followed by notification of the name of the disease, and notification of recurrence. The influencing factors varied depending on the notification period. Although no significant difference was observed for health-related QOL among the three notification types, significant differences were observed for certain items when compared with national standard values. Conclusions: When a notification of terminality, which produced the highest psychological stress response, is given, providing care that considers health-related QOL is necessary not only for patients but also for their spouses.

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