TitleEffects of change in arthritis severity on spouse well-being: The moderating role of relationship closeness.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPolenick, CA, Martire, LM, Hemphill, RC, Stephens, MAnn Parris
JournalJ Fam Psychol
Date Published2015 Jun
KeywordsAffect, Aged, Chronic Disease, Depression, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Personal Satisfaction, Spouses

<p>The severity of a patient's illness may be detrimental for the psychological well-being of the spouse, especially for those in a particularly close relationship. Using 2 waves of data collected from a sample of 152 knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients and their spouses, we examined associations between change in patients' illness severity and change in 3 indicators of spouses' well-being (positive affect, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction) over a 6-month period. We also tested the hypothesis that spouses' perceived relationship closeness with the patient would moderate these associations. Consistent with our prediction, a high level of relationship closeness exacerbated the negative impact of increases in patient illness severity on spouses' positive affect and depressive symptoms over 6 months. Spouses' life satisfaction declined when patients became more ill, regardless of level of relationship closeness. Our findings highlight the value of examining change in illness as a predictor of change in spouse well-being and the potential downside of relationship closeness for couples living with chronic illness.</p>

Alternate JournalJ Fam Psychol
PubMed ID26053347
PubMed Central IDPMC4757435
Grant ListK02 AG039412 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026010 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States