Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 534–554

Cancer’s Impact on Spousal Caregiver Health: A Qualitative Analysis in Grounded Theory

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10591-012-9211-9

Cite this article as:
Trudeau-Hern, S. & Daneshpour, M. Contemp Fam Ther (2012) 34: 534. doi:10.1007/s10591-012-9211-9


The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the impact cancer has on a spouse/partner caregiver. The psychological effects of caregiving are well documented, but information related to the physical outcomes of the caregiver of a partner with cancer is lacking. This is a qualitative study based in grounded theory and explores themes from transcripted interviews of eight spousal caregivers and four widowers. The caregiver is often the “silent sufferer.” Caregivers that experience compounding hardships and have multiple caregiving responsibilities tend to have paradoxical feelings about their experience and report higher levels of emotional and physical distress. Current caregivers report lower quality of physical health, as compared to widowers who report being in better health after the death of their spouse.


Family therapy Cancer Caregiver Health Qualitative research Death/dying 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.St. Cloud State UniversitySt. CloudUSA