Aim of the Study

Type of Study/Information

Main Findings/Conclusion

Strengths and Limitations

Pitceathly and Maguire (2003)

To address prevalence of psychiatric morbidities and psychological distress among carers especially female

Literature review

Spouses who use avoidance technique as a coping mechanism indicates that the individual has psychological issues; age, gender specifically female and personality compound the problem

The review was narrative; the researcher reported findings of different literature reviewed rather than critically analysing

Mossin and Landmark (2011)

To explore experiences of spouses who are present with their loved ones in hospital during last days before death

Qualitative study

The main classification for the findings is Maintaining presence, either for one’s own sake or for the patients’ sake to ensure that the couple’s relationship is maintained despite the husband being admitted to hospital

The time period when interviews took place was 2 weeks post bereavement as participants may still going through grief

Li et al. (2013)

To explore the experience of carers female and male, while reviewing differences for their spouse with cancer using the stress process

Literature Review

Female carers of men with advanced cancer disease were very anxious compared to spouses of men with cancer disease which is not advanced; this was related to high demands of care by patients

The researcher focused only on published research, not unpublished “grey” research, and so some relevant literature may be left out

Moser et al. (2013)

To assess the emotional distress levels on cancer patients and their partners and how these relate to each other

Cohort study

Prevalence rates of anxiety and distress upon diagnosis varied between 15% and 36%; rates were lower in patients who are either female or male than in female carers.

Clinically significant depression rates were higher in female carers than female patients, male patients and male carers. Over time depression declined in all groups.

Follow-up assessment of a small group of female carers showed that 3% still suffered clinically significant distress, compared to patients of both sexes and male partners

Mortality rates were high in male patients, which caused a reduction in numbers of follow up of patients. There were high rates of curative cancers; in spite of this being a positive outcome, results of the cohort could be affected as patients and their spouses would not have emotional distress noted in follow up assessments