Responsibilities and Difficulties of Caregivers of Cancer Patients in Home Care

UĞUR Ö., Elcigil A., Arslan D., Sonmez A.

ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION, vol.15, no.2, pp.725-729, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Background: Having been known as a virulent disease in 1970s, cancer is now onsidered a chronic disease and 64% of cancer patients live for five years after diagnosis. Home care has gradually gained more importance and it is a great burden on the shoulders of caregivers. Caregivers have to undertake the responsibility of the cancer patient's home management, and organize care and arrange health care services according to the ever-changing condition of patients. Caregivers should be prepared for home care so they can provide accurate and complete care to patients. This descriptive study aims to investigate challenges that caregivers encounter in the home care of patients and the reasons for these challenges. Materials and Methods: The research group consisted of caregivers of outpatients in a daily treatment center in a university hospital. The research sampling consisted of 137 voluntary caregivers of patients who attended the Daily Treatment Center for control, chemotherapy or other supportive cares services between January-June, 2011. Data were collected with face-to-face interviews in the Daily Treatment Center. Ethics Committee approval was taken university hospital; caregivers and their patients were informed about the research and their approval was taken as well. Results: It was found that 54.01% of caregivers help patient's nutrition, 50.36% help medicine use, 26.28% help oral hygiene, 26.28% help to meet urinary needs and 51.82% help to change clothes, 69.34% of caregivers help to change bed sheets, 38.69% help the patient to communicate with their environment and 71.53% help to bring the patient to hospital or outside. Conclusions: This study, it was found that caregivers experience challenges due to following factors: patient nutrition, medicine use, oral and body hygiene, colostomy maintenance and stomach tube feeding, concern of dropping the patient, feeling incompetency in body temperature and fever control, fatigue, and lack of personal time.