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Social, Marital, and Sexual Adjustment of Israeli Men Whose Wives Were Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Ilana Kadmon
Freda DeKeyser Ganz
Miri Rom
Anna C. Woloski-Wruble
ONF 2008, 35(1), 131-135 DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.131-135

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.

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