Appraisal and caregiving burden in family members caring for patients receiving chemotherapy

Oncol Nurs Forum. Nov-Dec 1991;18(8):1341-8.


The purposes of this exploratory study of 49 family caregivers of patients receiving chemotherapy were to describe the time and difficulty associated with caregiving tasks, examine caregivers' appraisals of their situations, and to explore what variables are predictive of caregiver mood. Measures used in this study included the Caregiving Burden Scale, Appraisal of Caregiving Scale, Family Hardiness Index, and an abbreviated form of the Profile of Mood States. Multiple regression was used to examine predictive relationships. The 25 women and 24 men reported spending the most time giving emotional support and assisting with household tasks, errands, and transportation. Giving emotional support was the most time-consuming and difficult task; therefore, it received the highest burden score. Burden was predicted by level of patient dependency. Caregiving burden, family hardiness, and caregiver health predicted 50% of the variance in negative appraisal of caregiving. Negative appraisal and age of the caregiver explained 49% of the variance in mood disturbance. Findings suggest that caregivers' appraisals of their situations may mediate the effects of illness and contextual factors on caregiver outcomes and that family hardiness is an important caregiver resource.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Home Nursing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological


  • Antineoplastic Agents