Psychological distress, health, and socio-economic factors in caregivers of terminally ill patients: a nationwide population-based cohort study

Title

Psychological distress, health, and socio-economic factors in caregivers of terminally ill patients: a nationwide population-based cohort study

Creator

Nielsen MK; Neergaard MA; Jensen AB; Bro F; Guldin MB

Publisher

Supportive Care In Cancer

Date

2016

Subject

Caregivers/px [psychology]; Health Status; Neoplasms/px [psychology]; Stress Psychological/px [psychology]; Aged; Cohort Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Socioeconomic Factors; Surveys And Questionnaires; Terminally Ill

Description

PURPOSE: At some point in life, most people become caregivers to a terminally ill relative. Previous studies have shown that many caregivers experience psychological distress and declining physical health, but these studies have predominantly been conducted in specialized palliative care settings. Therefore, caregiver studies with a population-based approach are needed. We aimed to describe socio-economic characteristics, situational factors, pre-loss grief symptoms, depressive symptoms, caregiver burden, and health status in a general population of caregivers to terminally ill patients. METHOD: We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study. Caregivers were systematically recruited through patients registered with drug reimbursement for terminal illness in 2012. Data on socio-economic characteristics was mainly obtained from Danish registries, whereas data on situational factors, distress, and health was measured in questionnaires. RESULTS: Of patients to responding caregivers (n = 3635), 89 % suffered from cancer, predominantly lung cancer (23 %). Of responding caregivers, 62 % were partners and 29 % were adult children. In total, one third of caregivers reported severe outcome, 15 % reported severe pre-loss grief symptoms, 16.1 % had moderate to severe depressive symptoms, and 12 % experienced high caregiver burden. Partners had the highest levels of pre-loss grief and depressive symptoms, while adult children reported the highest levels of caregiver burden. CONCLUSIONS: From this cohort, which was estimated to be representative of caregivers to terminally ill relatives in the general population, we found high levels of pre-loss grief, depressive symptoms, and/or caregiver burden in one third of all caregivers. These findings call for increased focus on caregivers' need of support.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

December 2017 List

Notes

Nielsen, Mette Kjaergaard
Neergaard, Mette Asbjoern
Jensen, Anders Bonde
Bro, Flemming
Guldin, Mai-Britt
10.1007/s00520-016-3120-7

Citation

Nielsen MK; Neergaard MA; Jensen AB; Bro F; Guldin MB, “Psychological distress, health, and socio-economic factors in caregivers of terminally ill patients: a nationwide population-based cohort study,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 24, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/11061.

Social Bookmarking