Needs assessment of family caregivers of cancer survivors: Three cohorts comparison

Youngmee Kim, Deborah A. Kashy, Rachel L. Spillers, Tekla V. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose/Background: Caregivers' quality of life (QOL) may be maximized when the caregivers' needs in the context of cancer care are met. Therefore, determining what needs are not being satisfied for family caregivers should be the first step in the development of programs designed to enhance caregivers' QOL. Method: The 27-item Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Cancer (NAFC-C) scale was developed and validated with caregivers at three different survivorship phases: at 2 months (n=162), 2 years (n=896), and 5 years (n=608) post-diagnosis [Correction made here after initial online publication]. Results: The NAFC-C helped to identify caregivers whose needs were less likely to be met, based on their age and ethnicity. Furthermore, the extent to which caregivers' psychosocial needs were not being met was a consistent and strong predictor of poor mental health across all phases of survivorship, beyond the effects of a host of demographic characteristics. Conclusion: Findings suggest that interventions designed to help caregivers manage their own emotional distress as well as the survivors' distress, find meaning in the cancer caregiving experience, and foster supportive familial relationship will benefit caregivers by improving their QOL, not only during the time of diagnosis and treatment but years after.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-582
Number of pages10
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

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Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Caregivers
  • Cohort comparison
  • Quality of life
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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