Coping with oncological illness and relationship satisfaction at patients and their intimate partners

Kateřina Bubeníková, Marie Marečková


The research has three main objectives which focuse on finding links between chosen coping strategies and relationship satisfaction. Ten hypotheses were determined on the basis of literary sources. The research sample consisted of 60 respondents (30 pairs). It included the oncological patients and their intimate partners. The data were collected by using questionnaires. The first part focused on the detection of the socio-demographic data. The second part was made up of items from the method WOC-CA (Dunkel-Schetter et al., 1992) designed to measure coping strategies. The third section included items of method DAS (Spanier, 1976) for measuring relationship satisfaction. The statistical analysis was not able to confirm the research assumptions.

(Fulltext in Czech)


partnership satisfaction, oncological illness, social support, coping strategies


Acitelli, L. K. (1992). Gender differences in relationship awareness and marital satisfaction among young married couples. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18(1), 102–110. doi:10.1177/014616­7292181015

Angenendt, G., Schütze-Kreilkamp, U., & Tschuschke, V. (2010). Psychoonkologie v praxi. Praha: Portál.

Banthia, R., Malcarne, V. L., Varni, J. W., Ko, C. M., Sadler, G., & Greenbergs, H. L. (2003). The effects of dyadic strength and coping styles on psychological distress in couples faced with prostate cancer. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 26(1), 31–52. doi:10.1023/A:1021­743005541

Bonnaud-Antignac, A., Hardouin, J., Leger, J., Dravet, F., & Sebille, V. (2012). Quality of life and coping of women treated for breast cancer and their caregiver. What are the interactions?. Journal of Clinical Psychology In Medical Settings, 19(3), 320–328. doi:10.1007/s10880–012–9300–9

Carlson, L. E., Bultz, B. D., Speca, M., & St. Pierre, M. (2000). Partners of cancer patients: I. Impact, adjustment, and coping across the illness trajectory. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 18(2), 39–63. doi:10.1300/J077v1­8n02_03

Drageset, S., & Lindstrøm, T. C. (2003). The mental health of women with suspected breast cancer: The relationship between social support, anxiety, coping and defence in maintaining mental health. Journal of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing, 10(4), 401–409. doi:10.1046/j.1365–2850.2003.00618.x

Dunkel-Schetter, C., Feinstein, L. G., Taylor, S. E., & Falke, R. L. (1992). Patterns of coping with cancer. Health Psychology, 11(2), 79–87. doi:10.1037/0278–6133.11.2.79

Erol, R. Y., & Orth, U. (2014). Development of self-esteem and relationship satisfaction in couples: Two longitudinal studies. Developmental Psychology, 50(9), 2291–2303. doi:10.1037/a00373­70

Eschenbeck, H., Kohlmann, C., & Lohaus, A. (2007). Gender differences in coping strategies in children and adolescents. Journal of Individual Differences, 28(1), 18–26. doi:10.1027/1614–0001.28.1.18

Fagundes, C. P., Berg, C. A., & Wiebe, D. J. (2012). Intrusion, avoidance, and daily negative affect among couples coping with prostate cancer: A dyadic investigation. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(2), 246–253. doi:10.1037/a00273­32

Feldman, B. N., & Broussard, C. (2006). Men's Adjustment to Their Partners' Breast Cancer: A Dyadic Coping Perspective. Health & Social Work, 31(2), 117–127.

Henry, N. M., Berg, C. A., Smith, T. W., & Florsheim, P. (2007). Positive and negative characteristics of marital interaction and their association with marital satisfaction in middle-aged and older couples. Psychology and Aging, 22(3), 428–441. doi:10.1037/0882–7974.22.3.428

Hinnen, C., Hagedoorn, M., Ranchor, A. V., & Sanderman, R. (2008). Relationship satisfaction in women: A longitudinal case-control study about the role of breast cancer, personal assertiveness, and partners' relationship-focused coping. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13(4),737–754. doi:10.1348/135910­707X252431

Hjörleifsdóttir, E. E., Hallberg, I. R., Bolmsjö, I. A., & Gunnarsdóttir, E. D. (2006). Distress and coping in cancer patients: Feasibility of the Icelandic version of BSI 18 and the WOC-CA questionnaires. European Journal of Cancer Care, 15(1), 80–89. doi:10.1111/j.1365–2354.2005.00620.

Hoyt, M. A., & Stanton, A. L. (2011). unmitigated agency, social support, and psychological adjustment in men with cancer. Journal of Personality, 79(2), 259–276. doi:10.1111/j.1467–6494.2010.00675.x

Kershaw, T., Northouse, L., Kritpracha, C., Schafenacker, A., & Mood, D. (2004). Coping strategies and quality of life in women with advanced breast cancer and their family caregivers. Psychology & Health, 19(2), 139–155. doi:10.1080/088704­40310001652687

Manne, S. L., Ostroff, J., Winkel, G., Grana, G., & Fox, K. (2005). Partner unsupportive responses, avoidant coping, and distress among women with early stage breast cancer: Patient and partner perspectives. Health Psychology, 24(6), 635–641. doi:10.1037/0278–6133.24.6.635

Manne, S. L., Norton, T. R., Ostroff, J. S., Winkel, G., Fox, K., & Grana, G. (2007). Protective buffering and psychological distress among couples coping with breast cancer: The moderating role of relationship satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), 380–388. doi:10.1037/0893–3200.21.3.380

Manne, S. L., Siegel, S., Kashy, D., & Heckman, C. J. (2014). Cancer-specific relationship awareness, relationship communication, and intimacy among couples coping with early-stage breast cancer. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 31(3), 314–334. doi:10.1177/026540­7513494950

Morgan, M. (2009). Considering the patient-partner relationship in cancer care: Coping strategies for couples. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 13(1), 65–72. doi:10.1188/09­.CJON.65–72

Nezu, A. M., et al. (2004). Pomoc pacientům při zvládání rakoviny. Brno: Společnost pro odbornou literaturu.

Ptacek J. T., Dodge, K. L. (1995). Coping strategies and relationship satisfaction in couples. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 1, 76–84. doi:10.1177/014616­7295211008

Segrin, C., & Badger, T. A. (2013). Interdependent psychological distress between Latinas with breast cancer and their supportive partners. Journal of Latina/O Psycho­logy, 1(1), 21–34. doi:10.1037/a00303­45

Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15–28.

Tschuschke, V. (2004). Psychoonkologie: psychologické aspekty vzniku a zvládnutí rakoviny. Praha: Portál.

Wootten, A. C., Burney, S., Foroudi, F., Frydenberg, M., Coleman, G., & Ng, K. T. (2007). Psychological adjustment of survivors of localised prostate cancer: Investigating the role of dyadic adjustment, cognitive appraisal and coping style. Psycho-Oncology, 16(11), 994–1002. doi:10.1002/pon­.1159

Show all Hide