Objective: This study revealed the landscape of noncancer conversations, identifying topics and types of everyday conversation, and examined links to psychological adjustment among couples coping with breast cancer. Methods: Fifty-two couples wore the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) over 1 weekend and self-reported psychological adjustment while patients were on treatment. The EAR sampled 50 s of ambient sound every 9 minutes to estimate the frequency of noncancer conversation and reveal topics and types of conversation. Results: Analyses revealed noncancer conversations comprised over 93% of conversations. The most common topic discussed was people. Substantive conversation was associated with better, while emotional disclosure was associated with worse, well-being for patients, but not spouses. Conclusions: Results revealed that ordinary conversations are frequent among couples who face breast cancer, and they are associated with patients' psychological adjustment, providing a foundation for potential interventions for coping with cancer that do not focus on illness.
- Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR)
- close relationships
- emotional disclosure
- substantive conversation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health