Charles S. Carver

Kim, Y., Carver, C. S., Spillers, R. L., Crammer, C., & Zhou, E. S. (2011). Individual and dyadic relations between spiritual well-being and quality of life among cancer survivors and their spousal caregivers. Psycho-Oncology, 20, 762-770.

Objectives: There is evidence that cancer generates existential and spiritual concerns for both survivors and caregivers, and that the survivor's spiritual well-being (SWB) is related to his/her own quality of life (QOL). Yet the degree to which the SWB of each member of the couple has an independent association with the partner's QOL is unknown. Thus, this study examined individual and dyadic associations of SWB with the QOL of couples dealing with cancer. Methods: A total of 395 married survivor-caregiver dyads participating in the American Cancer Society's Study of Cancer Survivors-I and Quality of Life Survey for Caregivers provided complete data for the study variables. Spiritual well-being was measured using FACIT-Sp-12 (assessing faith, meaning, and peace) and quality of life was measured using MOS SF-36. Results: Actor and Partner Interdependence Model analyses revealed that each person's SWB was the strongest correlate of his or her own mental health (higher SWB, better mental health). Each person's SWB was also positively related to his or her partner's physical health. Conclusions: Results suggest that the ability to find meaning and peace may be an important part of overall well-being during the cancer experience for both survivors and caregivers. Interventions designed to assist survivors and caregivers enhance their ability to find meaning and peace in the cancer experience may help them improve mental health of their own and the physical health of partners when they are dealing with cancer beyond the initial phase of the illness trajectory.

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