Care Needs and its Related Factors of Primary Caregivers for Patients Waiting for Brain Tumor Surgery

Monday, 9 November 2015

Yu-Shin Cheng, MSN, RN
Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Hsing-Mei Chen, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Ann-Shung Lieu, PhD, MD
Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Chief of Neurosurgical ICU, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Brain tumors may result in patients with different clinical manifestations, including headaches, mental and memory loss, personality changes, blurred vision, unsteady gait, and limb paralysis. Even after receiving treatments, the patient may remain some sequelae such as, paralysis, incontinence, language barriers, and cognitive function, affecting their daily living skills and may require help from caregivers 24 hours a day. The primary caregivers play a very important role on reduced readmissions, medical expenses, and infection prevention and monitor of the patients. They often need to learn how to take care of the patient, generating a lot of care needs, but their care needs are often ignored or may not be met. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the care needs and its related factors of the primary caregivers for patients with brain tumor.

A correlational descriptive research design was used and 80 caregivers completed the questionnaires in a neurological unit of a medical center located in Southern Taiwan. Instruments included the Karnofsky Performance Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales, and Supportive Care Needs Survey-Partners & Caregivers 45 (SCNS–P&C 45). Data were collected from March 2013 to May 2014.

The results showed that two subscales of the SCNS–P&C 45, Information Needs and Health Care Service Needs, received the highest scores among the SCNS–P & C 45. Pearson correlation analyses showed that higher anxiety (r = .37, p < .01) and higher depression (r = .31, p < .05) were correlated with greater level of care needs. The multiple linear regression analysis revealed that anxiety was the only significant predictor of care needs in primary caregivers of patients with brain tumor (R2 = 12.8%).

This study findings support that the primary caregivers of patients with brain tumor experience great level of care needs, especially for the information needs and healthcare service needs. Therefore, healthcare providers should always evaluate the caregivers’ care needs and emotional states, so that appropriate and adequate medical information and services could be provided on time, and in turn avoid any events that will cause or exacerbate their anxiety and depression states. This study can provide references for healthcare providers to future researches, clinical care, and nursing education regarding this important issue.