Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine the impact (changes and outcomes) of caregiving for an elderly with cancer diagnosis.
Methods: This study was conducted as a descriptive study. Sample of the study was 70 caregivers of 65 year and older patients with cancer diagnosis. Sample was calculated with power analysis (%80 power, 5% level of significance, 0.50 effect size). Data was collected with socio-demographic form and Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale (score 15-105, higher scores shows positive impact). Ethical committee approved study and written consent was obtained from caregivers. Data was analyzed with descriptive statistics, t test, Kruskal Wallis and Mann Whitney U test.
Results: Cared patients mean age was 73.06±7.19 (min.63-max.92), 55.7% were women, 88.6% primary school graduate, 65.7% had at least one co-morbid disease with primary diagnosis of lung cancer, lymphoma, prostate and breast cancer; with 3.3±4.6 month (min.1-max.36 month) diagnosis period. Caregivers mean age was 21.33±11.96 (min.24-max.78), 77.1% women, 87.1% married, 72.9% unoccupied. Half of caregivers were living with cared patient, 61.8% were children (24.3% daughter, 17.1% son), 24.3% spouse. Mean score of Bakas Caregiving Scale was 51.67±8.94 (median 53.5, min. 27, max.65). The items listed as impacted negatively by most of caregivers were “physical health, coping strategies, energy level, emotional health, physical functioning, and general health”. Caregivers reported positive change in “relationship with patient” item.
Conclusion: Caregivers play a vital role in cancer management of geriatric patients. This study highlights caregiving effect on caregivers’ physical and psychological health life mainly negatively but living close to each other has positive effect on their relationships. Understanding the impact will help health professionals to programme and be ready for supporting caregivers.