Purpose/Objectives: To explore the psychosocial adjustment of Israeli men whose wives were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Design: Descriptive study.
Setting: An urban tertiary medical center.
Sample: A convenience sample of 50 Israeli men whose wives had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The average age was 53.8 years. All of the men spoke and wrote Hebrew.
Methods: Husbands completed a demographic and wives' health-related questionnaire, the Social Support Questionnaire to measure social support from their wives, the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale to measure adjustment to a serious disease of the wives, and the Locke Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale to measure marital and sexual adjustment.
Main Research Variables: Psychosocial adjustment, social support, relationships with their partners, and relationships with the healthcare system.
Findings: A fifth of the men reported various levels of stress and concern. Half described financial difficulties. Three-quarters of the men noted changes in their relationships. More than a third of the husbands experienced a reduction in communication with their families. All of the men expressed satisfaction with the healthcare system, although some of them expressed a need to receive more information.
Conclusions: Husbands of women with breast cancer grapple with multiple issues on several fronts. They need support and information from the healthcare team even if they do not request it in a timely or direct manner.
Implications for Nursing: Response to the unspoken needs of men whose wives have breast cancer necessitates education and ongoing staff education to develop strategic support and communication.