Determinants of Informal Caregivers' Satisfaction With Services for Dying Cancer Patients

Soc Sci Med. 1996 Mar;42(5):721-31. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(95)00198-0.


The association between bereaved informal caregivers' satisfaction with services delivered by district nurses, general practitioners and hospital doctors, and various service and non-service variables was examined to assess whether satisfaction is a reflection of service characteristics, non-service related factors, or attributable to both. Secondary analysis was undertaken on a sub-sample from the "Regional Study of Care for the Dying" (RSCD) in which bereaved relatives or friends of a random sample of deaths in 1990 in 20 health districts across England were interviewed some ten months after the death. 1858 relatives or close friends/neighbours of people who died from cancer were included in this analysis. Using multiple logistic regression, larger odds ratio were found in association with service than non-service variables. For example, high satisfaction with district nurses was strongly associated with visiting the patient very frequently (OR = 10.8, 95% CI = 4.5 - 25.9), while the GP visiting 20 times or more (OR = 5.5, 95% CI = 3.6 - 8.5), and informing the informal caregiver of the diagnosis (OR = 3.3, 95% CI = 2.3 - 4.7) were associated with high satisfaction with GPs. However, some non-service variables were significantly associated with satisfaction. For instance, having no bereavement-related psychological problems was positively associated with high satisfaction with district nurses (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.6 - 3.4) and GPs (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.4 - 2.8), while the informal caregiver perceiving caring as rewarding as opposed to a burden was positively associated with high satisfaction with district nurses (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.8 - 7.5) and negatively associated with high satisfaction with hospital doctors (OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.24 - 0.86). The findings indicate that, in post-bereavement surveys evaluating services delivered to dying cancer patients, informal caregivers' satisfaction is mainly determined by service characteristics. However, attributes of both patients and informal caregivers also play an important role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bereavement
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Palliative Care / psychology
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Terminal Care / psychology*