Economic conditions and marriage quality of men with prostate cancer

Authors

  • Lizzy Sunny,

    1. Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg,
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  • Thomas Hopfgarten,

    1. Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet,
    2. Department of Urology, Stockholm South Hospital, and
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  • Jan Adolfsson,

    1. Oncologic Centre, Karolinska University Hospital, CLINTEC and, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Gunnar Steineck

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg,
    2. Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet,
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Gunnar Steineck, Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE 41345, Gothenburg, Sweden.
e-mail: Gunnar.Steineck@oncology.gu.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To explore the predictors of the quality of marriage of men with prostate cancer, as being diagnosed with prostate cancer affects the quality of life of the man and his partner, and while some aspects are known about the impact of the disease and its treatments on the man’s quality of life, less is known about the marriage quality (MQ) in this new situation.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

We followed 591 men from Stockholm County (Sweden) who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, and who were 50–80-years old and alive on 1 October 2002. The men completed a questionnaire asking about their MQ, and several other sociodemographic, medical and economic characteristics.

RESULTS

Of 426 men who provided information and who had a spouse or partner, 168 (39.4%) reported having a lower MQ due to their disease. Increased expenditure (46.2% vs 30.9%; relative risk, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–2.0) and decreased income (55.4% vs 36.5%; 1.5, 1.1–2.0) as a consequence of prostate cancer reduced their MQ. Patients who had erectile dysfunction had a lower MQ (46.3% vs 11.8%; 3.9; 2.0–7.6). There was also a lower MQ in men who were depressed or had urinary leakage as a consequence of prostate cancer. Younger men (50–69 years old) with prostate cancer had a lower MQ than older men (70–80 years; 51.9% vs 33.1%; 1.6; 1.2–2.0).

CONCLUSIONS

Men whose economic situation is worsened by prostate cancer reported having a reduced MQ. There was also such an effect for men with erectile dysfunction, urinary leakage and depression, and among men diagnosed with prostate cancer when young.

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