Understanding Cancer Caregiving and Predicting Burden: An Analytics and Machine Learning Approach

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2024 Jan 11:2023:243-252. eCollection 2023.


Cancer caregivers are often informal family members who may not be prepared to adequately meet the needs of patients and often experience high stress along with significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens. Accurate prediction of caregiver's burden level is highly valuable for early intervention and support. In this study, we used several machine learning approaches to build prediction models from the National Alliance for Caregiving/AARP dataset. We performed data cleansing and imputation on the raw data to give us a working dataset of cancer caregivers. Then a series of feature selection methods were used to identify predictive risk factors for burden level. Using supervised machine learning classifiers, we achieved reasonably good prediction performance (Accuracy ∼ 0.94; AUC ∼ 0.97; F1∼ 0.93). We identify a small set of 15 features that are strong predictors of burden and can be used to build Clinical Decision Support Systems.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Neoplasms*