Vol 17, No 5 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-10-25

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Perceived spouse unsupportive behaviors in women with breast cancer and their spouses

Akram Rezagholifam1, Hadi Hassankhani2, Kelly A. Powers3, Azad Rahmani1, Zohreh Saanat4, Neda Gilani5, Razieh Hassankhani6
Oncol Clin Pract 2021;17(5):212-221.


Introduction. Unsupportive responses from relatives, particularly spouses, play a significant role in the psychological adjustment of breast cancer patients and their spouses. Failure to meet the physical and psychological needs of breast cancer patients and their spouses can lead to anxiety, depression, and numerous marital problems. The aim of this study was designed to describe perceived spouse unsupportive behaviors in women with breast cancer and their spouses.

Material and methods. This is a cross-sectional study. A total of 220 women with breast cancer along with their husbands participated in this study through random sampling. In the present study, data collection was performed using a demographic information checklist and a questionnaire.

Results. The mean perceived women’s unsupportive behavior (20.73 ± 8.44) was higher than that of men’s (18.80 ± 5.83), which was statistically significant (p = 0.003). The mean score of perceived women’s unsupportive behavior in the categories of marital status, companion, place of residence, men’s and women’s occupation, and the type of residential house, and the mean score of perceived men’s unsupportive behavior in the category of current treatment were different.

Conclusions. Women perceive their spouses’ behaviors as less supportive than their spouses’ perceptions of women’s behavior, which highlights the need for husbands to be more attentive to the impact of their behavior on their wives. Furthermore, talking with each other about problems is the most imperative factor in perceiving support by couples; accordingly, it can be concluded that couples who are reluctant to talk to each other concerning the problem perceive less mutual support.

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