Changes in family functioning for cancer patients undergoing surgery for the first time and their spouses

Miki Nakamori, Toyoe Taguchi


The purpose of the present study, involving patients undergoing surgery under general anesthesia for the first time and their families, was to examine changes in family functioning during the period before surgery and one month after it. Cancer patients who had never received surgical treatment and their families underwent the FFFS (Feetham Family Functioning Survey) Japanese version I. For both patients and their spouses, the level of importance of family functioning before the patients underwent surgery was higher, compared to after they received treatment. One month after surgery, the importance level of family functioning associated with “the relationship between the family and subsystems” for patients was significantly lower, and the importance level associated with “the relationships between the family and each family member” for spouses was significantly lower. This was because patients undergoing cancer surgery for the first time placed more importance on the relationship with medical professionals (as a subsystem), rather than family members. To cope with the crisis situation - patients undergoing their first surgery for cancer, their spouses desired to help each other with patients and other family members. When a cancer patient receives surgical treatment for the first time, it is important for health care professionals to establish appropriate relationships with them. Health professionals, nurses in particular, are also required to take time to provide intervention, including a proper explanation of treatment and support. It is necessary for medical professionals to help patients’ spouses accept the crisis situation - their families undergoing cancer surgery for the first time, confirm their roles, and support the patients.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.