Purpose: This study examined the psychosocial adjustment and needs of family caregivers of head and neck cancer survivors at 6-24 months posttreatment.
Materials and methods: Family caregivers of head and neck cancer survivors (N=89) completed mailed questionnaires that assessed demographic variables, mental health, quality of life, and practical and informational needs.
Results: Thirty-eight percent of caregivers reported moderate to high distress. However, quality of life scores for the entire sample (N=89) were better than the scores reported in initial validation studies on caregivers of patients undergoing active cancer treatment. Greater time spent caregiving was associated with worse psychological well-being, but also more positive adaptation to caregiving. In addition, 39% of caregivers reported that all of their practical and informational needs were being met.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that research and clinical efforts are needed to address the psychosocial concerns of this population.