• Anne Hornbæk Thomsen
4. Term, Master of Pain Science and Multidisciplinary Pain (Continuing Education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
A mixed method pilot study was conducted at Department of Specialized Palliative Care at Regionshospitalet Randers, Denmark to investigate the pain catastrophizing of the spouses and the relationship to the patients.
Spouses of cancer patients in palliative care were asked to fill in Pain Catastrophizing Scale – Specific others (PCS-S) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, short version (DASS21). Patient´s symptom burden (EORTC-QLQ-C15-PAL) was retrieved from the journal.
In addition, four spouses were interviewed about their catastrophic thinking and the impact on the relationship to their partners.
Results: More than 90 % of the spouses in this sample were high catastrophizers. Dominant subgrups were rumination and magnification, but helplessness is also a big contributor to pain catastrophizing. A correlation between partner´s Pain Catastrophizing and the patient’s symptom burden shows a significant relationship (r=0,708, p=0,033) between high catastrophizing and better physical performance (though all patients performed less than 50%). There was no relationship shown between pain and catastrophizing (r=-0,238, p=0,537).
The findings show that there is a constant worry about the future, what will the death be like and if the partner will be capable of managing this situation, as well as punishing ups and downs in the patient´s condition.
The relationship within the couples is challenged by the fact that the spouses want to protect their partners from topics that can worry them or disturb their feelings of hope, which leaves the spouses lonely in the partnership.
It is discussed what the right help would be and when it should be presented. Further investigations are necessary to verify this pilot project.
Publication date9 Jun 2022
Number of pages35
ID: 472492728