The burden of brain tumor: A single-institution study on psychological patterns in caregivers

Claudia Yvonne Finocchiaro, Alessandra Petruzzi, Elena Lamperti, Andrea Botturi, Paola Gaviani, Antonio Silvani, Lucio Sarno, Andrea Salmaggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Quality of life and well-being in caregivers are usually partly neglected since all attention is focused on patients and the way they react to the illness. Carers also usually neglect their own needs, especially when the illness of the patient is as complex as a brain tumor. The aim of this study is to investigate how caregivers deal with a diagnosis of brain tumor in their relatives and how they manage their quality of life and psychosocial well-being. One hundred primary caregivers of patients with brain tumors were interviewed and were asked to fill in self- administered questionnaires detecting multidimensional levels of quality of life, anxiety, depression, and psychosocial reaction to the patient's illness. Data were related with some functional and psychosocial information collected about the patient's disease. Caregivers try to react to the illness of their relatives by mobilizing their physical reaction and growing their self-esteem, but they live with a clinically significant impairment of their quality of life, and experience a deep level of anxiety and depression. The caregivers' burden appears mainly in their ability to provide care and in financial strain. The length of disease and the functional status of patients significantly influence caregivers' psychosocial well-being. Despite the appearance they want to show their affected relatives, caregivers suffer from deep limitation in their quality of life. The relevance of caregivers' burden suggests the importance of psychological support to improve reaction to the illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Brain tumors
  • Caregivers
  • Depression
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Neurology

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