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Quality of life and stress response symptoms in long-term and recent spouses of testicular cancer survivors

      Abstract

      The aim of this study was to gain insight into the quality of life (QoL) and stress response of female spouses of men cured of testicular cancer in the long-term. Time since treatment completion varied from 0.5 to 23.8 years. Two hundred and fifty nine testicular cancer survivors and their spouses completed the Dutch version of the MOS Short Form (SF)-36 and the Impact of Event Scale. QoL data from a reference group of women were used for comparison. Spouses who had relationship with the testicular cancer survivor before the diagnosis (spouses during testicular cancer) had better functioning scores than the reference group, especially with respect to the physical QoL domains. Spouses who had started a relationship after treatment (spouses after testicular cancer) experienced more problems with psychological QoL domains than spouses during testicular cancer and than the reference group. The stress response of spouses during testicular cancer was related to that of the testicular cancer survivors and to the extent of treatment they had received. Although stress response levels were low, spouses during testicular cancer reported more stress response than the testicular cancer survivors. Time since completion of treatment did not affect QoL or stress response. This study showed that spouses during testicular cancer had a good QoL and little stress response. Functioning of spouses after testicular cancer was poorer with respect to various QoL domains, particularly the psychological measures.

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