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Randomised controlled trial
Partner-assisted emotional disclosure intervention may improve relationship quality in couples where one partner has gastrointestinal cancer and has difficulty discussing cancer-related concerns
  1. D Kelly
  1. Dr Daniel Kelly
    Reader in Cancer & Palliative Care, School of Health & Social Science, Middlesex University, Archway Campus, Highgate Hill, London N19 5LW, UK; D.Kelly{at}

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Partners of cancer patients are receiving more attention in the literature. In this US study the aim was to test the enhancement of communication (particularly emotional disclosure) in couples facing the challenge of gastrointestinal cancers. It follows a clinical trial format, with couples being assigned either to four sessions of a partner-assisted emotional disclosure intervention (in the presence of a psychologist or social worker) or to the same number of sessions focusing on education and support (with the same professionals). The trial included 130 patients with stage 2–4 gastrointestinal cancers and life expectancy of >6 months. Outcome measures included the Quality of Marriage Index, the …

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  • Competing interests None.