Dyadic Adjustment in Couples Living with Stage IV Lung Cancer
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This dissertation examines levels of communication, relationship satisfaction and perceptions of equity that exist between couples living with stage IV lung cancer. Quantitative analyses were used in a convenience sample of 31 couples. By comparing scores between the patient partner dyad, data reflected similar or divergent results along with which variables were most influential regarding dyadic adjustment in the context of stage IV lung cancer. Dyadic adjustment in couples living with lung cancer is a topic requiring greater attention due to its relevance in the arena of psycho-oncology today and the unique needs presented by this specific population.;Study participants were asked to complete the DAS (Dyadic Adjustment Scale), measuring relationship satisfaction, the CICS (Couples' Illness Communication Scale), assessing couple communication when there is an illness, and a scale measuring perceptions of equity between the couple. Data reflected that the longer a couple is living with stage IV lung cancer, the less equity there is between the couple. Data also implied that socioeconomic status influences relationship satisfaction. This is the first study to examine the variables of relationship satisfaction, communication and perceptions of equity in the context of dyads living with stage IV lung cancer. The findings suggest that couples may benefit from couples' counseling offered at the onset of diagnosis, based on data indicating that couples confront less equity in their relationship the longer they are living with stage IV lung cancer. Data also indicates that there is a positive relationship between relationship satisfaction and socioeconomics, suggesting that couples living with lung cancer may have less relationship discord when finances are not a difficulty.;In conclusion, the researcher recommends a standardized intervention of couple's counseling that can help to address this unmet need, curriculum in academic settings to include coursework on advanced cancer and dyadic adjustment and more informed practice protocols for clinicians.