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South Asian J Cancer. 2020 Jan-Mar;9(1):62-65. doi: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_331_18.

How cancer of oral cavity affects the family caregivers? - A cross-sectional study in Wardha, India, using the Caregiver Quality of Life Index - Cancer questionnaire.

Author information

1
Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, India.

Abstract

Introduction:

Oral cancer is now a major public health problem in India. It does not only affect the patient, but also has a deep psychosocial impact on the family caregivers who are deeply involved with the cancer patient for nursing, timely medication, and consulting the doctor. Studies have found that the caregivers often suffer from depression, anxiety, and fear of losing their near and dear ones. This study aims to capture the psychosocial impact of oral cancer on the family caregivers.

Materials and Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study carried out in a tertiary care hospital with the primary caregivers of those oral cancer patients who completed their treatment and came for follow-up after 2-3 months of treatment completion. The study participants were recruited till a sample size of 100 was reached. This was adequate to report proportions with an error of 10%. We have used "The Caregiver Quality of Life Index - Cancer" scale to capture the psychosocial impact of oral cancer on primary caregiver of the patient. The study was initiated after obtaining approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Informed written consents were obtained from all the study participants before beginning the interviews.

Results:

Caregivers played an important role in the recovery of the patients. However, the strain of caregiving resulted in increased emotional stress among them. We found 56% of the family caregivers were female and 41% were male. Majority of the caregivers who accompanied the patients to hospital were the spouses. For the caregivers, the mean score for burden of the disease was found to be 60.0 (±20.2), that for disruption was 50.4 (±21.7), and for positive adaptation was 61.4 (±20.7).

Conclusion:

Caregivers, who are usually invisible to the health-care team, should be recognized and their mental and physical well-being should also be given attention.

KEYWORDS:

Family caregiver; oral cancer; psychosocial impact; the Caregiver Quality of Life Index – Cancer questionnaire

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