Living close to a person with cancer: a review of the international literature and implications for social work practice

J Gerontol Soc Work. 2014;57(6-7):531-55. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2014.881450. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


To help family caregivers (FCs), social workers need to understand the complexity of FC's experiences and challenges. For this systematic review, several relevant, multidisciplinary electronic databases were searched. Of 1,643 titles identified, 108 articles met the inclusion criteria and are included in this review. Various experiences, symptoms, and burden related to caregiving responsibilities are described and discussed. The understanding evolving from this study about the FC's own health risk, caregiver burden, and experiences over time can enhance a social worker's awareness of an FC's challenging situation and the potential impact this has on the FC's ability to provide care to the patient.

Keywords: caregiving; family; long-term care; social work practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers*
  • Family*
  • Home Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Social Work*