Dyadic Interventions for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers: State of the Science and New Directions

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2019 Aug;35(4):337-341. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2019.06.004. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Objectives: To describe caregiving and relationship challenges in cancer and the state of the science of dyadic interventions that target survivors and caregivers.

Data sources: Narrative review.

Conclusion: Viewing the survivor-caregiver dyad as the unit of care may improve multiple aspects of survivor and caregiver quality of life. However, several questions remain regarding how, why, and for whom dyadic interventions are effective.

Implications for nursing practice: Nurses should consider survivor, caregiver, and relationship needs when formulating supportive care protocols. Screening for survivor distress and extending distress screening to caregivers is an important first step in providing comprehensive psychosocial care.

Keywords: caregivers; couples; dyadic interventions; psychological distress; quality of life; survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Caregivers*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Quality of Life