The need for psychosocial intervention for the partners of women with breast cancer
Streisand, Gail Paulay
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The partners of women with breast cancer are a major source of support for their significant others. This study examines the perceptions of both patients and partners as to how men can best provide this support. It asks the question, "What intervention would optimize a partner's ability to support a woman experiencing the crisis of breast cancer?" The researcher asked the partners of fifteen women, newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, a series of questions relating to their emotional needs and their experiences with their spouses during their illness. The patients themselves were also interviewed. These responses were then analyzed, utilizing Grounded Theory methodology, in an attempt to identify topics of importance for inclusion in a possible psychotherapeutic intervention for men. The general consensus which emerged was that men are less inclined than women to seek formal interventions, however they are willing to participate in a group setting if it is inclusive of their partners and considered valuable by them. Men are less drawn to situations that allow for emotional expression, but more interested in opportunities for information-gathering and problem-solving.