Quality of life of family caregivers 5 years after a relative's cancer diagnosis: follow-up of the national quality of life survey for caregivers.

Department of Psychology, University of Miami, 5665 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33124-0751, USA.
Psycho-Oncology (Impact Factor: 4.04). 03/2012; 21(3):273-81. DOI: 10.1002/pon.1888
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although cancer has been considered as a chronic disease for those diagnosed, the long-term impact of cancer on the family caregivers' quality of life (QOL) remains unknown. Thus, the current study aimed: (a) to characterize family caregivers of cancer survivors, (b) to describe the multidimensional aspects of QOL of family caregivers of cancer survivors, and (c) to identify demographic and caregiving experience factors that may play significant roles in the caregivers' QOL around 5 years after the relative's initial diagnosis. Methods. A total of 1218 caregivers participated in the 5-year follow-up nationwide QOL Survey for Caregivers. Demographics and caregiving experiences were measured 2 years post-diagnosis of their relative's cancer. Multidimensional aspects of QOL were assessed, including mental and physical health, psychological adjustment, and spirituality at 5 years post-diagnosis.
Three groups of caregivers were identified: former caregivers due to the recipients being in remission, former caregivers whose recipients were deceased, and current caregivers. Current caregivers reported worst levels of QOL. Bereaved caregivers reported lower levels of psychological and spiritual adjustment than former caregivers whose recipients were in remission. In addition, caregivers' age and stress were consistent predictors of QOL across three caregiver groups at 5 years post-diagnosis.
The findings help to increase evidence-based awareness of the long-term impact of cancer on the family caregivers' QOL. Findings also have implications for developing programs, whereby family caregivers in the various phases of caregivership will benefit by improving their QOL.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In order to better understand how family caregiving may contribute to poor health outcomes, this study sought to determine (1) if and to what extent caregiving characteristics were associated with caregiver strain and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and (2) whether caregiver strain mediated this association. Data were from the 2008-2010 Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, a representative sample of Wisconsin adults aged 21-74 years. Participants completed questionnaires about their caregiving, sociodemographics, and HRQoL; 264 caregivers were identified. Staged generalized additive models assessed the associations among caregiving characteristics, caregiver strain, and HRQoL; survey weights were applied to account for the complex sampling design. More hours per week of care and greater duration of caregiving were associated with higher levels of strain. Greater caregiver strain was in turn associated with worse mental HRQoL. However, most caregiving characteristics were not directly associated with mental or physical HRQoL. The findings suggest a chains-of-risk model in which caregiving may increase strain, which may in turn adversely influence mental HRQoL. Using this perspective to refine interventions may improve our ability to support caregivers on practice and policy levels.
    Quality of Life Research 11/2014; · 2.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of spiritual interventions in reducing distress in mothers of children with cancer. In a quasi-experimental study 12 mothers of children with cancer aged between 19 to 50 years old were selected and studied within six 90-minute group sessions in a spiritual intervention based program. Participants in a program based on repeated measures were tested in the first, third, sixth sessions and then 3 weeks after the last session (follow-up) with a Scale of Subjective Units of Distress (SUD). The results of repeated measures show that spiritual intervention improves distress of mothers of children with cancer in post-test phase and this increase remains sustained until follow-up.
    Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 12/2014; 159.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Although research has shown that many cancer patients report positive life changes following cancer diagnosis, there are few data in the literature related to PTG in caregivers of cancer patients. However, the few studies available have shown that this kind of positive changes can also be experienced by family members. The aims of this study were to explore PTG in caregivers of cancer patients and to investigate correlations between the Posttraumatic growth, psychological status and QoL of caregivers and those of patients, taking into account also clinical and socio-demographic aspects. Methods: We enrolled 60 patient/caregiver pairs in the Department of Medical Oncology of the National Research Center "Giovanni Paolo II" in Bari. Both patients and caregivers were assessed using the following scales: Posttraumatic growth Inventory (PTGI); Hospital anxiety and depression scale; Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36); ECOG Performance Status. Clinical and socio-demographic data were collected. Results: Caregivers showed significantly higher scores than patients in the dimension of "personal strength." Furthermore, we found a significantly close association between anxiety and depression of caregivers with those of patients. Younger caregivers were better than older ones in terms of physical activity, vitality, mental health, and social activities. Although the degree of relationship with the patient has no significant effect on the dependent variables of the study, it was found that caregivers with a degree of kinship more distant to the patient have less physical pain than the closest relatives. Conclusion: Results of the present study show that caregivers of cancer patients may experience post-traumatic growth as the result of their caregiver role. It would be interesting to investigate in future research which factor may mediate the presence of post-traumatic growth.
    Frontiers in Psychology 11/2014; 5:1342. · 2.80 Impact Factor