The influence of symptom severity of palliative care patients on their family caregivers
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DepartmentDidáctica de la Educación Física, Plástica y Musical
SourceBMC Palliative Care, Vol. 21, Núm. 1
Background This study anlyzed whether family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer suffer impaired sleep quality, increased strain, reduced quality of life or increased care burden due to the presence and heightened intensity of symptoms in the person being cared for. Method A total of 41 patient-caregiver dyads (41 caregivers and 41 patients with advanced cancer) were recruited at six primary care centres in this cross-sectional study. Data were obtained over a seven-month period. Caregiver's quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), caregiver's quality of life (Quality of Life Family Version), caregiver strain (Caregiver Strain Index), patients' symptoms and their intensity (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System), and sociodemographic, clinical and care-related data variables were assessed. The associations were determined using non-parametric Spearman correlation. Results Total Edmonton Symptom Assessment System was significantly related to overall score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (r = 0.365, p = 0.028), the Caregiver Strain Index (r = 0.45, p = 0.005) and total Quality of Life Family Version (r = 0.432, p = 0.009), but not to the duration of daily care (r = -0.152, p = 0.377). Conclusions Family caregivers for patients with advanced cancer suffer negative consequences from the presence and intensity of these patients' symptoms. Therefore, optimising the control of symptoms would benefit not only the patients but also their caregivers. Thus, interventions should be designed to improve the outcomes of patient-caregiver dyads in such cases.
SubjectsCaregivers; Palliative care; Medical oncology; Home care services; Community health nursing
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