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A Preliminary Conceptual Framework for Cancer Couple Dyads: Live With Love

Li, Qiuping MMed; Loke, Alice Y. PhD

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000148
Articles: Online Only

Background: With the research focus on family caregiving shifting from the individual to the dyadic level, there is a need to develop a conceptual framework that focused on caregiver-patient dyads.

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a preliminary conceptual framework for cancer couple dyads, to “Live With Love.”

Methods: A literature search was conducted among 4 electronic databases to identify couple-based intervention studies related to couples coping with cancer. This report differs from a traditional literature review in that we synthesized the models or frameworks used in these studies rather than the outcomes of the studies. A preliminary Live With Love Conceptual Framework (P-LLCF) for cancer couple dyads was developed based on the conceptual frameworks adopted in related literature on spousal caregiving for patients with cancer.

Results: This P-LLCF contains 3 domains: event situation, dyadic mediators, and caregiver-patient dyads (appraisal, coping, and adjustment/outcomes). The various components in this P-LLCF will work together to benefit the positive dyadic adjustment/outcomes of the spousal caregiver-patient dyads in the cancer dyads’ journey of coping with cancer.

Conclusions: This P-LLCF sheds new light on the study of cancer couple dyads. It will be potentially valuable for guiding the related research and development of interventions on cancer couple dyads.

Implications for Practice: Future research is needed to assess the outcome of interventions that focus on different components. It is also needed to develop measurements to assess dyadic adjustment/outcomes in nursing practice.

Author Affiliations: Wuxi Medical School, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China (Dr Li); and School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon Hong Kong, China SAR (Dr Loke).

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Alice Y. Loke, PhD, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong (

Accepted for publication February 15, 2014.

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