Levels of stress and intervention preferences of caregivers of brain tumor patients.
The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the level of stress experienced by caregivers of brain tumor patients and to examine both their interest in and preferences for stress reduction programs. Using a convenience sample of 60 adult caregivers, we distributed a study questionnaire that examined the caregivers' level of stress, beliefs, past experiences, and preferences in regard to stress reduction programs. A majority of respondents reported elevated stress levels (72%), believed that stress reduction techniques can help reduce stress (87%), and were interested in learning about programs to reduce stress (81%). Overall, most participants wanted to receive information about stress reduction programs (65%) and were interested in programs such as exercise (73%) and massage (66%) as methods to reduce stress. Concerning mode and format preferences, 46% indicated that they could participate in a program at least twice a week, and 70% could participate in a program for an interval of 30 minutes or more. Ninety percent of the caregivers preferred programs that could be undertaken in their own homes either alone (37%), with a spouse (35%), or with the brain tumor patient for whom they were providing care (28%). Overall, 44% of caregivers sampled were interested in participating in the various stress reduction programs presented to them in this study. These data provide further evidence that caregivers experience elevated levels of stress and are willing to learn more about and participate in programs to reduce stress.
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