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Palliat Support Care. 2015 Aug;13(4):865-73. doi: 10.1017/S1478951514000753. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Assessing cancer caregivers' needs for an early targeted psychosocial support project: The experience of the oncology department of the Poliambulanza Foundation.

Author information

1
Oncology Department,Fondazione Poliambulanza,Brescia,Italy.
2
General Surgery Department,Fondazione Poliambulanza,Brescia,Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Caregivers play a key role in the management of patients with cancer. However, some studies have suggested that caregivers have even more unmet needs than the patients.

METHOD:

To better identify the needs and changes in the lifestyles of the caregivers in our practice and to plan a targeted support project to decrease caregiver burden, we administered the Caregiver's QoL Index-Cancer (CQoLC) to 200 consecutive caregivers. This questionnaire assesses psychological well-being, the relationship with healthcare professionals, administration of finances, lifestyle disruption, and positive adaptation.

RESULTS:

Our data showed that being a caregiver to a patient with metastatic disease negatively affected females mostly with regard to mental and emotional burden, while men complained more about their sexual life (42.3 vs. 33.6%), although this result was not significant. Some 93.5% of caregivers reported that they were pleased with their role, while 83.4% were concerned about financial difficulties.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS:

We strongly believe that early supportive care directed not only at patients but also to caregivers may improve the quality of life (QoL) in this population. We are currently developing a targeted support project to decrease caregiver burden.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Caregivers; Psychological support; Quality of life

PMID:
24968214
DOI:
10.1017/S1478951514000753
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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