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Keywords

brain metastases, caregiving, care partner, family caregivers, nursing, well-being

 

Authors

  1. Ketcher, Dana
  2. Otto, Amy K.
  3. Reblin, Maija

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are increasing numbers of cancer patients with brain metastases, and there is a high potential for caregiving burden. Little work has explored caregiving responsibilities and psychosocial well-being in informal family caregivers (FCGs) of cancer patients with brain metastases. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature.

 

METHODS: Data were drawn from baseline pilot study data. Caregivers completed demographic information and provided a self-report of their caring responsibilities and psychosocial well-being via questionnaire.

 

RESULTS: Participants were 21 FCGs of patients with brain metastases. Many caregivers are devoting extensive time to providing care; there was high variability in the number and types of caregiving activities reported. Although many caregivers report feeling well supported, other aspects of psychosocial well-being were less robust, including anxiety, depression, burden, and coping self-efficacy.

 

CONCLUSION: Although FCGs reported mitigating factors such as social support, they still experience significant distress. Findings support previous work suggesting that neuro-oncology caregiving is burdensome, with adverse effects on health and well-being. Foundational work, such as this, will set the stage to identify areas for future intervention.