A dyadic affair: who is to blame for causing and controlling the patient's lung cancer?

Abstract:

:Couples facing lung cancer may be at an increased risk of relationship distress in relation to unresolved blame and anger. Using a comparative design, we conducted preliminary analyses of illness attributions as reported by 100 patients and their primary support persons. Patients and support persons responded to a series of 5-point Likert-type questions to capture locus of causality and controllability as well as attribution-related cognitions and emotions. Most patients and support persons had a smoking history. Both patients and support persons ascribed the locus of causality and controllability for lung cancer as the patient. Between-group analyses revealed that patients and support persons ascribed more negative attributions toward oneself and more positive attributions toward their partner. However, within-group analysis revealed that support persons tended to ascribe more responsibility, fault, and blame toward the patient. We speculated that patients may be responding to negative signals received from their support persons that perpetuated their self-blame. The care of patients, particularly those who used tobacco, might be approached from a "shared line of attack," wherein both patients and support persons are encouraged to examine and understand their attributions to "soften" the blame and anger toward oneself or their partner.

journal_name

Cancer Nurs

journal_title

Cancer nursing

authors

Lobchuk MM,Murdoch T,McClement SE,McPherson C

doi

10.1097/01.NCC.0000339253.68324.19

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2008-11-01 00:00:00

pages

435-43

issue

6

eissn

0162-220X

issn

1538-9804

pii

00002820-200811000-00005

journal_volume

31

pub_type

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