Caregivers report the highest percentage of unmet needs for support in areas regarding fear concerning the patient’s condition, receiving disease-related information, and emotional support for themselves, according to an article published online in Cancer.
A total of 188 dyads of patients diagnosed with lung, urological, or gastrointestinal cancer and their primary caregivers took part in the study’s cross-sectional survey.
Caregivers completed the Supportive Care Needs Survey self-report questionnaire and the patients completed the corresponding questionnaire.
In the questionnaires, both the caregivers and the patients supplied information describing their distress, anxiety, and depression. Medical records provided clinical characteristics of the patients.
The majority (72.3%) of the caregivers was female and their median age was 57.8 years.
Results showed that caregivers were more distressed (P<0.01) and had greater anxiety (P<0.01) scores than the patients.
Furthermore, more caregivers reported having at least 10 unmet needs than no unmet needs (43.6% vs 14.4%, respectively). Unmet needs reported by patients and caregivers’ anxiety predicted unmet needs of caregivers, to some extent.
The study suggests caregivers undergo systematic assessments to examine their unmet needs and determine specific offers for the caregivers.
Cancer not only affects patients but also their caregivers. The objective of the current study was to assess the unmet needs of cancer caregivers and to identify possible predictors of their supportive care needs.