Cancer Patients Show Highest Degree of Dependence on Spouses


A collaborative research team led by Professor Shin Dongwook of the SMC Department of Family Medicine, Professor Park Kiho of the National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, Professor Park Jonghyuk of the Chungbuk National University Department of Preventive Medicine, and Professor Jung Ansuk of the University of Utah Asia Campus Department of Psychology reported results on cancer patients after analyzing 439 cancer patients who were treated at 11 institutions across the country.


Although both male and female patients relied on their spouses, male patients showed higher degree of reliance on their spouses. For support of physical activity, male patients assigned 86.1% of the task while female patients only assigned 36.1% to their spouses. Such tendency was reversed for economic support. Male patients received the most support from their spouses (34.2%), while female patients received the most from their sons (40.5%) followed by spouses (31.6%).


However, the degree spousal dependence decreased with the age of the patient and was replaced by dependence on children.


The research team emphasized that future policy support for cancer patients needs to be subdivided according to the family members based on such culture of domestic cancer patient care.


This study was partially supported by the National Cancer Center and the National Research Foundation, and the results were published in Cancer Research and Treatment, an international publication of the Korean Cancer Association.