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Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 Mar;28(2):e12992. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12992. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Gender differences in health status and benefits of a one-week educational programme for caregivers of cancer patients.

Author information

1
National Advisory Unit on Late Effects after Cancer Treatment, Department of Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
2
Montebello Center, The Norwegian Resource Center for Coping with Cancer, Mesnali, Norway.
3
Unit for Psychosocial Oncology, Coping and Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Service, Division of Cancer Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
4
University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
5
Department of Clinical Service, Division of Cancer Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aims of this study were to investigate differences between female and male caregivers' health status before and 3 months after a one-week educational programme, self-reported needs for support and changes in health status over time.

METHODS:

Caregivers were partners of cancer patients aged ≥18 years who participated in the programme. Questionnaires were completed at baseline and 3 months after the programme.

RESULTS:

At baseline, 167 caregivers completed the questionnaire, 55% were females and the mean age 60.2 years (range 31-79). Female caregivers reported poorer vitality (p = 0.016) and more chronic fatigue compared to male caregivers (28% vs. 13%, p = 0.036). Females more frequently reported need for support: psychological counselling (21% vs. 3%, p = 0.001), group conversations (51% vs. 28%, p = 0.003), nutritional counselling (39% vs. 17%, p = 0.002) and recreational stay (46% vs. 24%, p = 0.004). Significant benefits within-group changes were observed among female caregivers in role physical, general health, vitality, social functioning, mental and total fatigue, whereas no significant within-group changes were observed for males. However, in adjusted analyses no significantly between-group gender differences in mean changes were observed.

CONCLUSION:

More studies are needed to better understand the differences and possible effects of programmes among female and male caregivers in order to develop relevant support.

KEYWORDS:

cancer; caregivers; educational programmes; gender differences

PMID:
30652372
DOI:
10.1111/ecc.12992
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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