Family appraisal of caregiving in a brain cancer model

Journal Article

Caregivers of patients with brain tumors frequently provide care to a patient with a potentially short terminal disease trajectory. Understanding the impact of caregiving is important because caregivers are often called upon to make difficult decisions regarding the patient for whom they provide care. The goal of this study was to document caregiver appraisal of providing care to persons with brain tumors. Using 70 patient and caregiver dyads, levels of caregiver strain, distress, family well-being, and positive appraisal were assessed in caregivers of patients with brain cancer using the Family Appraisal of Caregiving Questionnaire for Palliative Care. Patient quality of life and stress were assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain and the Perceived Stress Scale. Participants indicated high levels of positive caregiver appraisal (mean [SD], 4.3 [0.53]) and low levels of strain (mean [SD], 2.72 [0.88]). Of the four domains assessed by the Family Appraisal of Caregiving Questionnaire for Palliative Care, only caregiver distress correlated (r = -0.245, P = .04) with patients' overall Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain score. Higher patient Perceived Stress Scale scores were associated with caregiver strain and burden, whereas lower scores were associated with family well-being and positive caregiving appraisal. Despite the challenges that caregivers of patients with brain tumors must address, this study documented that respondents experienced higher levels of positive appraisal and family well-being over caregiver distress and strain. The data also indicated a clear relationship between caregiver appraisal and patient quality of life and more so regarding patient stress.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keir, ST; Farland, MM; Lipp, ES; Friedman, HS

Published Date

  • 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 60 - 66

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1522-2179

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/NJH.0b013e3181917e35