Help ‘At-Risk’ Family Members With Challenges in Cancer Caregiving
Family members—not health professionals—are the primary providers of patient-focused care in the United States, according to Deborah Boyle, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, FAAN, from Advanced Oncology Nursing Resources in Phoenix, AZ. “There is an unrealistic expectation that families can enact their caregiving role with no training and ongoing support,” she said during her session presentation for the 46th Annual ONS Congress™ on April 20, 2021. Oncology nurses have a responsibility to identify at-risk families that may face multiple challenges in providing care so they can prepare those families with additional resources and support.
COVID-19 Affects Cancer Caregivers, but Here Are Ways to Support Them
Cancer caregivers are silent and sometimes forgotten victims of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Its impact on patients with cancer and healthcare providers is widely discussed, but it also affects caregiver responsibilities and burden.
How Can Oncology Nurses Reduce Isolation for Caregivers?
Social connection with others is widely considered a fundamental human need, crucial to well-being and survival. A growing body of literature is evaluating cancer caregivers’ needs, yet strategies to address loneliness, which has broadly detrimental effects on caregivers, are still in their infancy. Therefore, my goal is to identify better support strategies for caregivers as they support their loved ones with cancer.
Psychological Distress Is Interdependent in Patients With Cancer and Their Caregivers
About 30% of all cancer survivors and their caregivers have reported psychological distress, which encompasses diagnoses of depression, anxiety, and overwhelming stress. For both survivors and caregivers, psychological distress can negatively impact different aspects of treatment, care, and well-being. In fact, patients with lower levels of psychological distress have been shown to recover quicker, exhibit fewer symptoms, and even have lower mortality rates after treatment.
Psychological Distress Affects Caregivers but Not Patient Symptoms in Head and Neck Cancer
Psychological stress in caregivers of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) may impair the quality of patient care they provide and affect outcomes such as survival. However, patient symptom burden and caregiver tasks and their impact on psychological stress is not well understood.
Trump Signs RAISE Act, Pledging Support Services to Family Caregivers
Family members are often the first people to step into the caregiver role when a loved one gets sick. However, studies show that caregivers face unintended burdens and potential consequence as a result of the support and care they give to loved ones.