Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 313–321 | Cite as

The influence of family adaptability and cohesion on anxiety and depression of terminally ill cancer patients

  • Young-yoon Park
  • Young-jin Jeong
  • Junyong LeeEmail author
  • Nayun Moon
  • Inho Bang
  • Hyunju Kim
  • Kyung-sook Yun
  • Yong-I Kim
  • Tae-hee Jeon
Original Article



This study investigated the effect of family members on terminally ill cancer patients by measuring the relationship of the presence of the family caregivers, visiting time by family and friends, and family adaptability and cohesion with patient’s anxiety and depression.


From June, 2016 to March, 2017, 100 terminally ill cancer patients who were admitted to a palliative care unit in Seoul, South Korea, were surveyed, and their medical records were reviewed. The Korean version of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales III and Hospital Anxiety-Depression Scale was used. Chi-square and multiple logistic regression analyses were used.


The results of the chi-square analysis showed that the presence of family caregivers and family visit times did not have statistically significant effects on anxiety and depression in terminally ill cancer patients. In multiple logistic regression, when adjusted for age, sex, ECOG PS, and the monthly average income, the odds ratios (ORs) of the low family adaptability to anxiety and depression were 2.4 (1.03–5.83) and 5.4 (1.10–26.87), respectively. The OR of low family cohesion for depression was 5.4 (1.10–27.20) when adjusted for age, sex, ECOG PS, and monthly average household income.


A higher family adaptability resulted in a lower degree of anxiety and depression in terminally ill cancer patients. The higher the family cohesion, the lower the degree of depression in the patient. The presence of the family caregiver and the visiting time by family and friends did not affect the patient’s anxiety and depression.


Terminally-ill-cancer  Anxiety Depression Family Adaptability Cohesion 



This study was supported by a VHS Medical Center Research Grant, Republic of Korea (VHSMC 17009).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study protocol was approved by the institutional review board of the Veterans Health Service Medical Center (IRB file no. 2016-05-016).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineVeterans Health Service Medical CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Palliative Care UnitsVeterans Health Service Medical CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Office for Hospice and Palliative Care and ServiceVeterans Health Service Medical CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea

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