The influence of cancer patients' symptoms and functional states on patients' depression and family caregivers' reaction and depression

Health Psychol. 1993 Jul;12(4):277-85. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.12.4.277.


In this article the paths among cancer patients' physical and mental health and the reactions and mental health of their family caregivers were examined. Data for these analyses came from a cross-sectional sample of cancer patients who were recruited through ambulatory outpatient chemotherapy units, and their family caregivers. Patients' depression was explained largely by their symptomatology and, to a lesser extent, by loss of mobility. Patients' physical limitations impacted caregivers' daily schedules but not their physical health. Patients' levels of depression were related to those of their caregivers. However, caregivers' optimism proved to be a significant predictor of their mental health and reactions to caregiving.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Female
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / psychology*