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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


MOREIRA, Helena; SILVA, Sónia  and  CANAVARRO, Maria Cristina. The role of marital intimacy in the quality of life of women with breast cancer. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2009, vol.10, n.1, pp.127-147. ISSN 1645-0086.

Despite the multiplicity of studies concerning the conjugality of women with breast cancer, research about the intimacy of these couples remains poorly documented. This study aims to analyse the relationship between couple’s intimacy (in the dimensions: communication, personal validation and opening to exterior) and women’s quality of life in two different phases of the disease. The sample is comprised of 47 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, 47 breast cancer survivors, and 47 healthy women from general population. Women recently diagnosed with breast cancer presented better social quality of life and better conjugal intimacy on the communication dimension. Among breast cancer survivors, the personal validation dimension was a significant predictor of a better psychological quality of life, while the opening to exterior dimension was a good predictor of a better social quality of life. Generally, an intimate relationship, characterized by the validation, understanding and open share of emotions, feelings and concerns, as well as by the couple’s opening to the exterior, seems to promote a better quality of life of women with breast cancer.

Keywords : Breast cancer; communication; couple; diagnosis; intimacy; quality of life; personal validation; opening to exterior; survivorship.

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