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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 330-336

Burden of Care and Perceived Psycho-Social Outcomes among Family Caregivers of Patients Living with Cancer

1 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 College of Nursing, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Chiemerigo Anne Onyeneho
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.308678

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Objective: Caring for patients living with cancer requires the support of family caregivers. Literature reports experiences of diverse burdens and health effects among caregivers. This study examined the burden, physical, psycho-social, and financial outcomes of caregiving among caregivers of patients living with cancer. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, between January and March 2019. A convenient sample of 201 caregivers who were direct family relatives were selected to complete a validated Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) Questionnaire (r = 0.994) and perceived outcomes of caregiving questionnaire. The burden scale score ranged from 0 to 20 (no burden) to 61–88 (severe burden). Other outcomes of caregiving were measured on a Likert scale 0–4 (where 2.00 is the threshold score of effect of caregiving experienced), to determine the strength of the effect of caregiving on each variable of interest. The factors that contributed to the health outcomes were also identified. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 22.0 was used for data analysis. Results: The mean age was 37.68 ± 14.29 years and majority (60.4%) were female. The mean duration of caregiving was 2.34 ± 1.14. Caregivers (44.5%) reported a mild level of the burden while 4.4% reported severe burden. The mean burden score was 28.30 ± 15.78. Findings also indicate that caregiving affected the physical health (mean = 2.58 ≥ 2.00) and social well-being (mean = 2.42 ≥ 2.00) of the caregivers. The impact on psychological health was less than the threshold value (mean = 1.88 ≤ 2.00), suggesting less impact. Some factors associated with physical effects include poor eating (mean = 2.80) and lack of sleep (mean = 2.92). However, the psychological outcomes were associated with loss of hope (mean = 1.53) and feelings of frustration (mean = 1.65). Conclusions: Reported burden of care was mild; although negative health outcomes were noted. Health-care professionals can ameliorate such effects through a regular systemic assessment with standardized instruments, for early identification and intervention.

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