With respect to patient cancer factors, receipt of chemotherapy ([beta] = .213) and having more positive nodes ([beta] = .131) were significantly associated with the FDFR's perception of greater impact of the cancer on the patient.
Visiting and caring for the patient was associated with higher cancer-specific distress ([beta] = .131) and greater perception by the FDFR of the cancer's impact on the patient ([beta] = .134).
The FDFR's perceived impact of the illness on the patient also had a direct association with general distress, as did a higher sense of perceived risk for breast cancer.
Contact frequency between the FDFRs and the breast cancer patients appears to be associated with cancer-specific distress both directly and indirectly, mediated through its influence on the FDFR's perceived cancer impact on the patient.
This study examines the association of relationship factors with distress among first-degree female relatives (FDFRs; n = 540) of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients (n = 306).
First-degree female relatives (FDFRs; sisters, daughters, and mothers) of women with breast cancer have been found to have a significant amount of cancer-specific distress and, in some cases, more general emotional distress (Kash, Holland, Halper, & Miller, 1992; Lerman & Schwartz, 1993; Mosher & Danoff-Burg, 2005; Valdimarsdottir et al., 1995; Wellisch, Gritz, Schain, Wang, & Siau, 1991; Zakowski et al., 1997).
The purpose of this study was to conduct an exploratory analysis of the association of relationship factors with distress among FDFRs of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
A longitudinal study assessed the response of FDFRs of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
FDFRs were mailed an invitation and consent fact sheet describing the study and giving a process to refuse.
Sixteen of the patients selected out 25 FDFRs from permission to contact.
FDFRs estimated their risk of breast cancer on a scale ranging from 0 to 100.
FDFRs rated how similar they perceived themselves to be to the patient (not at all, a little, moderately, very much) with respect to physical appearance and body build, personality or temperament, lifestyle and health behaviors, use of health care, and general health status for their respective ages.