Family caregivers of cancer patients: perceived burden and symptoms during the early phases of cancer treatment

Soc Work Health Care. 2014;53(3):289-309. doi: 10.1080/00981389.2013.873518.


This study investigated levels of symptoms, caregiver burden, and changes over time in 278 family caregivers (FC) of cancer patients. FCs experienced high levels of depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance, low levels of fatigue, and low to moderate levels of caregiver burden, yet these symptoms remained relatively stable over time. Being female and not being employed were factors associated with an increased risk of symptoms and caregiver burden. The understanding evolving from this study can enhance social- and health care professionals' awareness of FCs' challenging situation and the potential impact this has on the FCs' ability to provide care to the patient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult