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J Neurooncol. 2011 Sep;104(3):737-44. doi: 10.1007/s11060-011-0534-4. Epub 2011 Feb 11.

Identifying the needs of brain tumor patients and their caregivers.

Author information

  • 1Division of Neuro-Oncology in the Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. ParvataneniRu@neurosurg.ucsf.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify the needs of brain tumor patients and their caregivers to provide improved health services to these populations. Two different questionnaires were designed for patients and caregivers. Both questionnaires contained questions pertaining to three realms: disease symptoms/treatment, health care provider, daily living/finances. The caregivers' questionnaires contained an additional domain on emotional needs. Each question was evaluated for the degree of importance and satisfaction. Exploratory analyses determined whether baseline characteristics affect responder importance or satisfaction. Also, areas of high agreement/disagreement in satisfaction between the participating patient-caregiver pairs were identified. Questions for which >50% of the patients and caregivers thought were "very important" but >30% were dissatisfied include: understanding the cause of brain tumors, dealing with patients' lower energy, identifying healthful foods and activities for patients, telephone access to health care providers, information on medical insurance coverage, and support from their employer. In the emotional realm, caregivers identified 9 out of 10 items as important but need further improvement. Areas of high disagreement in satisfaction between participating patient-caregiver pairs include: getting help with household chores (P value = 0.006) and finding time for personal needs (P value < 0.001). This study provides insights into areas to improve services for brain tumor patients and their caregivers. The caregivers' highest amount of burden is placed on their emotional needs, emphasizing the importance of providing appropriate medical and psychosocial support for caregivers to cope with emotional difficulties they face during the patients' treatment process.

PMID:
21311950
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3170122
Free PMC Article
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