Jonasson et al studies the impact of unrelieved symptoms in a female cancer patient prior to death on her surviving spouse. Not only does control of negative symptoms in the patient benefit the patient, but also the ability of the widower to cope with his loss. The authors are from Karolinska Hospital, Goteborg's University and the University of Iceland.


Subjects: widowers of women who died from cancer


Outcome: sleep-related problems 4 to 5 years after the death of the spouse


The risk of negative psychological adjustment was increased if:

(1) the woman suffered unrelieved anxiety or depression (psychological distress) during the last 3 months of life

(2) the woman suffered unrelieved pain during the last 3 months of life


Seeing unrelieved symptoms in a spouse dying of cancer resulted in mental suffering in the surviving spouse which can last for years.


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