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Changes in reciprocal support provision and need-based support from partners of patients undergoing radical prostatectomy


  • Knoll, Nina
  • Burkert, Silke
  • Roigas, Jan
  • Gralla, Oliver


We examined need-related and reciprocal provision of support in couples facing radical prostatectomy and its sequelae, including patients' urinary incontinence. Partners' reciprocal support provision to patients was assumed to drop from prior to until after patients' surgeries and increase again in the following months, while need-related indicators were assumed to remain unique correlates throughout. In this study of German prostatectomy patients and their partners, NÂ =Â 141 couples provided data on 4 measurement occasions from presurgery to 1-year postsurgery. Need-based predictors of partners' support provision were patients' mobilized support, such as efforts to obtain advice or comfort, and degree of postsurgery incontinence. Strength of association between partner-received and provided supports served as an indicator of reciprocal support provision. Data suggested that partners' reciprocal support provision dropped significantly postsurgery and then increased again in the following months. This was true for emotional as well as instrumental reciprocal support provision. Findings also indicated that one need-based predictor of partners' support provision, patients' mobilization of support from their partners, remained a unique correlate of partners' support provision to patients. Reciprocal support provision in couples may vary during the adaptation to illness-related functional impairment and coexist with need-oriented support provision.

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  • Knoll, Nina & Burkert, Silke & Roigas, Jan & Gralla, Oliver, 2011. "Changes in reciprocal support provision and need-based support from partners of patients undergoing radical prostatectomy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 308-315, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:2:p:308-315

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manzoli, Lamberto & Villari, Paolo & M Pirone, Giovanni & Boccia, Antonio, 2007. "Marital status and mortality in the elderly: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 77-94, January.
    2. Umberson, Debra, 1992. "Gender, marital status and the social control of health behavior," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 907-917, April.
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