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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 June 2014

Fausto Meriggi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Federica Andreis
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Veronica Premi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Nadia Liborio
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Claudio Codignola
Affiliation:
General Surgery Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Maria Mazzocchi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Anna Rizzi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Tiziana Prochilo
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Luigina Rota
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Brunella Di Biasi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Paola Bertocchi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Chiara Abeni
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Chiara Ogliosi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Francesca Aroldi
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Alberto Zaniboni
Affiliation:
Oncology Department, Fondazione Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
Corresponding
E-mail address:

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.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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