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Couple Functioning after Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis: A Systematic Review

Van Schoors M, Caes L, Alderfer MA, Goubert L & Verhofstadt LL (2017) Couple Functioning after Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis: A Systematic Review. Psycho-Oncology, 26 (5), pp. 608-616.

Objectives  A systematic review was conducted to: 1) investigate couple functioning after a pediatric cancer diagnosis, and 2) examine theoretical and methodological tendencies and issues in this literature.  Methods  Searches of Web of Science, Pubmed, Cochrane, PsycInfo and Embase resulted in inclusion of 32 qualitative, quantitative or mixed method papers. Findings of these papers were extracted for summary.  Results  Most couples adapt well to the crisis of a pediatric cancer diagnosis in domains such as emotional closeness, support, marital satisfaction and general marital adjustment. However, most experience difficulties in the domain of sexual intimacy and reports on conflict are mixed across qualitative and quantitative studies.  Conclusions  This review illustrates the need for future research with a greater focus on the impact of a pediatric cancer diagnosis on the couple's functioning, conducted with use of appropriate theoretical frameworks and based on both partners’ reports. Improvements in research are needed to best inform couple-based interventions.

pediatric cancer; oncology; couples; intimate relationships; parents; systematic review

Psycho-Oncology: Volume 26, Issue 5

Author(s)Van Schoors, Marieke; Caes, Line; Alderfer, Melissa A; Goubert, Liesbet; Verhofstadt, Lesley L
Publication date31/05/2017
Publication date online27/06/2016
Date accepted by journal24/06/2016
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