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Family caregivers' perceptions of depression in patients with advanced cancer: A qualitative study

  • Wadih Rhondali (a1) (a2) (a3), Anne Chirac (a1) (a4), Angélique Laurent (a4), Jean-Louis Terra (a4) (a5) and Marilène Filbet (a1)...

Abstract

Objective:

Depression is a serious issue for cancer patients, resulting in impaired quality of life and probably shorter survival. However, many cancer patients with depression are not treated because of the difficulties in identifying depression within this population. Our study aimed to examine caregivers' perceptions of depression among advanced cancer patients.

Method:

This qualitative study employed semistructured interviews, and we analyzed data using grounded theory and qualitative methods. We recruited caregivers from our palliative care unit (PCU) at an academic medical center.

Results:

We interviewed a total of 15 caregivers. Cancer patients' caregivers had a good theoretical knowledge of depression but also acknowledged that, in the context of cancer and because of their relationship with the patient, identification of depressive symptoms could be challenging. They considered themselves as partners in the patient's care with a supportive role. However, by assuming the role of partner in patient care, caregivers exposed themselves to emotional difficulties and an increased need for support and information.

Significance of Results:

Our results suggest a significant impact of depression in advanced cancer caregivers, and it is therefore crucial that healthcare professionals develop educational programs targeting cancer patients' families as well as specific interventions to minimize the impact of the burden of patient care on caregivers.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Wadih Rhondali, Department of Palliative Care, Centre Hospitalier Lyon-Sud, Hospices civils de Lyon. 165, chemin du Grand-Revoyet, 69495 Pierre-Bénite cedex, France. E-mail: wadihrhondali@gmail.com

Footnotes

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Both authors contributed equally to this paper.

Footnotes

References

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Keywords

Family caregivers' perceptions of depression in patients with advanced cancer: A qualitative study

  • Wadih Rhondali (a1) (a2) (a3), Anne Chirac (a1) (a4), Angélique Laurent (a4), Jean-Louis Terra (a4) (a5) and Marilène Filbet (a1)...

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