Burden, quality of life, and social support in caregivers of patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: A pilot study

Chandylen L. Nightingale, Barbara A. Curbow, John R. Wingard, Deidre B. Pereira, Giselle D. Carnaby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to (1) obtain preliminary data on changes in burden and quality of life in head and neck cancer caregivers during and shortly following patient radiotherapy, (2) assess the relationship between perceived social support and burden as well as perceived social support and quality of life in caregivers during radiotherapy, and (3) identify preferences for sources of support among caregivers during radiotherapy. Methods: Caregivers completed burden and quality of life instruments at the start of patient radiotherapy (T1), 5 weeks into radiotherapy (T2), and 1 month post-radiotherapy (T3) and instruments for perceived social support and support preferences at T2 only. Results: Caregivers showed a trend toward increased burden and worsened quality of life for the majority of subscales at T2 or T3 than at T1. Caregivers reported significantly lower esteem and significantly greater disruption at T2 than at T1 and significantly worse health at T3 than at T2. Higher perceived social support was typically associated with lower burden and higher quality of life at T2. Spouses/partners were the most commonly preferred source of support. Discussion: These pilot findings suggest that caregivers experience psychosocial impairments during and shortly after patient radiotherapy, but more research using larger samples is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-245
Number of pages10
JournalChronic Illness
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Burden
  • Caregiving
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Burden, quality of life, and social support in caregivers of patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this