- •Patients with acute leukemia and their spouses may resort to positive dyadic coping.
- •Tailored interventions to improve dyadic coping should be developed.
- •Couple-based interventions can focus on optimizing positive couple experiences.
This study aimed to explore the positive experiences of dyadic coping between patients with acute leukemia and their spouses in China, and to highlight the target factors that could promote coping and adaptation.
A qualitative descriptive study was employed. This study was conducted at a tertiary hospital in China from September 2021 to February 2022. A purposive sampling method was used to select participants, and 17 patients diagnosed with acute leukemia and their spouses were interviewed. Qualitative data were analyzed using the content analysis method. This study followed the COREQ checklist.
This study's data were categorized into five themes and twelve subthemes: (1) adapting to a new role—couples used role adjustments to adapt; (2) commitment to companionship—patients benefit from spousal commitment in word or in deed; (3) active communication—allows couples to get to know each other better; (4) white lies—shield partner from negative information; (5) seeking external support—outside of couple cohesion. In sum, positive dyadic coping experiences between couples follow the marital commitment of “never forsake.”
This study contributes new knowledge to the understanding of the dyadic coping experiences of patients with acute leukemia and their spouses within the Chinese social-cultural context and contributes to cross-cultural comparisons. The results can be used to design and implement couple-based intervention programs to support couples by enhancing their mutual support to cope with and adjust to acute leukemia effectively.
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Published online: December 22, 2022
Accepted: December 15, 2022
Received in revised form: November 26, 2022
Received: September 27, 2022
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