Caring for brain tumour patients: Psychological reactions after bereavement

Alessandra Petruzzi, Claudia Yvonne Finocchiaro, Laura Rainoldi, Antonio Silvani, Mariangela Farinotti, Andrea Salmaggi, Lucio Sarno, Elena Lamperti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the changes in quality of life and in levels of anxiety and depression experienced by caregivers of patients with brain tumour 18 months after their bereavement. Methods: This longitudinal study employed data from two time points: time 1, during the hospital stay of the caregiver's loved one; and time 2, approximately 18 months after the death of the patient. A total of 51 caregivers agreed to participate in the study at both time points. We used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the 36-ltem Short Form Health Survey; we compared the data obtained at the two time points using the paired-samples t-test. Results: Caring for someone with a brain tumour had a greater impact on the caregivers' mental health than on their physical well-being. At time 2, the caregivers' levels of anxiety and depression and psychological burden were decreased, indicating that they were in a better emotional state than they had been in time 1. However, the mean values in the depression, vitality, and mental health subscales were lower than those in the normative data, indicating that these caregivers had a worse psychological status than members of the normative group. Conclusion: Our study underscores the necessity of supporting caregivers and monitoring their suffering levels; such suffering can compromise their social and work lives, not only during the disease trajectory but also in bereavement. Providing psychological and emotional support for caregivers of patients with brain tumour during both periods could lessen the suffering and unhappiness of these caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
Volume31
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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