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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2011 Jan;38(1):60-5. doi: 10.1188/11.ONF.60-65.

Depressive symptoms, grief, and complicated grief among family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer three months into bereavement.

Author information

  • 1College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. lorraine.holtslander@usask.ca

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

to describe depressive symptoms, grief, and complicated grief for bereaved family caregivers of patients who died from cancer-related causes and to explore relationships among these variables.

DESIGN:

a nonexperimental, secondary analysis of cross-sectional descriptive data from a longitudinal intervention study evaluating the effect of providing feedback from standardized assessment tools.

SETTING:

two large, private, not-for-profit hospices in Florida.

SAMPLE:

convenience sample of 280 family caregivers, bereaved three months.

METHODS:

secondary analysis of self-report, survey data three months following death.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

depressive symptoms, grief, and complicated grief.

FINDINGS:

Three months after the loss of a loved one, 34% of the caregivers had clinically meaningful scores for depressive symptoms. A significant number of bereaved caregivers were experiencing grief and depression.

CONCLUSIONS:

bereaved caregivers were experiencing significant levels of depressive symptoms and complicated grief. Caregivers with higher levels of grief had more depressive symptoms.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

tools are available to identify bereaved caregivers most in need of intervention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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