The experiences of older caregivers of cancer patients following hospital discharge.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: This study addressed the experiences of older caregivers of cancer patients in the 2 weeks following a hospital discharge. It sought to understand the challenges they face in providing supportive care to patients at home. METHODS: Qualitative descriptive interviews with a narrative approach were conducted with each caregiver at 1 and 2 weeks following the patient's discharge from the hospital. A thematic analysis approach was used to identify the themes that emerged from the caregiver interviews. RESULTS: Caregivers were primarily Caucasian (77%), were mostly 68 years of age or older (62%), and were primarily caring for a spouse (69%). Three key themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: caregiver and patient wellness are connected, caregivers' struggle with control issues, and challenges in communication with health professionals. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight psychosocial changes that caregivers experience over the 2-week time period following hospital discharge. Implications include the need to identify interventions to better prepare caregivers for the post-discharge period.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schwartz, AJ; Riedel, RF; LeBlanc, TW; Desai, D; Jenkins, C; Mahoney, E; Humphreys, J; Hendrix, CC

Published Date

  • February 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 609 - 616

PubMed ID

  • 30027328

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6326889

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1433-7339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00520-018-4355-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany