Psychological Interventions for Couples and Families Coping with Cancer

Talia I Zaider, David Kissane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


A strong evidence base for couple therapy has emerged in cancer care, especially for breast and prostate cancers. The approach can aim to either strengthen the relationship or reduce distress in the partners. Psycho-education, communication training, mutual support, problem-solving and active coping skills development prove beneficial. Where sexual functioning cannot be restored, emphasis can be placed on intimacy enhancement. Similar to couple therapy, the evidence base for family interventions has also become strong. Growth in knowledge about care provision, enhanced coping, improved relationships, and better social functioning have been demonstrated from these trials. Family-centered care can be sustained into bereavement to prevent later morbidity in families at risk. Strengths-based models that affirm resilience in the family prove beneficial.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsycho-Oncology
EditorsJimmie C Holland, William S Breitbart, Phyllis N Butow, Paul B Jacobsen, Matthew J Loscalzo, Ruth McCorkle
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780199363315
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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