Purpose: Cancer diagnosis and treatment can generate substantial distress for both survivors and their family caregivers. The primary aim of this investigation is to test a model of dyadic interdependence in distress experienced by cancer survivors and their caregivers to determine if each influences the other. Methods: To test this prediction, 209 Latinas with breast cancer and their family caregivers (dyads) were followed for 4 waves of assessment over the course of 6 months. Both psychological (depression, anxiety, perceived stress) and physical (number of symptoms, symptom distress) indicators of distress were assessed. Longitudinal analyses of dyadic data were performed in accordance with the actor-partner interdependence model. Results: Findings indicated that psychological distress was interdependent between cancer survivors and their caregivers over the 6 months of observation. However, there was no such evidence of interdependence on indicators of physical distress. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with emotional contagion processes and point to the potential importance of caregiver well-being for the welfare of Latina breast cancer survivors.
- Breast cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas