Impact of demographic, clinical and psychological variables of patients and caregivers on the perception of burden among the family caregivers of patients with cancer
Integrative Cancer Science and Therapeutics
The study aims were to assess the level of burden among caregivers of patients diagnosed with cancer and to examine patient and caregiver variables associated with high levels of burden. A descriptive cross sectional study was performed at the Psychiatric Department in the University Hospital of Monastir, Tunisia. The study included a total of 138 dyads of patients and their corresponding family caregivers. The dyads were convoked then examined. The data were assembled using questionnaires
... rated by the research team and caregiver burden was measured with the Zarit Burden Interview. Patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the KATZ Index of Activities of Daily Living. About one third of the caregivers experienced high levels of burden. The scores at the Zarit Burden Interview ranged from 15 to 70 and mean score was 48.7 (SD =18.2). This negative outcome of caregiving was found to be related to both patients' and caregivers' variables. Statistically, the factors associated to high levels of burden among family caregivers that are linked to the patient's profile were: male gender, age between 61 and 70 years old, having other medical morbidities, necessitating pre and post-operative chemotherapy, having intermediate to high levels of anxious or depressive symptoms and a severe functional impairment. Caregivers who helped their patients to accomplish many daily activities were found to be high-burdened. The caregiver variables that were found to be related to high levels of burden among caregivers were: male gender, age between 40 and 59 years old, employed full-time status, being the child of the patient, having another member of the family needing daily care, caregiving period more than one year, and not resorting to a professional healthcare at home. The current study demonstrates the importance of a systematic assessment and early intervention procedures needed in order to detect vulnerable caregivers.