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Cancer Nurs. 2000 Aug;23(4):295-303.

Participant characteristics before and 4 months after attendance at a family caregiver cancer education program.

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  • 1Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA.


Recent trends in health care have placed an increased burden on cancer caregivers. In response, nurses and social workers have been taught to implement a 6-hour psychoeducation program for cancer caregivers that addresses symptom management, psychosocial support, and resource identification. Longitudinal data from a convenience sample of 187 cancer caregivers who attended the program are reported. Data were collected before attendance and 4 months later. Findings confirm the chronic and consuming nature of cancer caregiving. Data indicate that perception of burden did not worsen even when caregiving tasks increased in intensity. Caregiver perceptions of their own health actually improved over time. In addition, the number of caregivers who said they were well informed and confident about caregiving after program attendance increased over time. Further study that randomizes caregivers to intervention/control groups is needed to substantiate the role of similar programs in enhancing caregiver skills and minimizing caregiver burden over time.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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