Family caregivers' perceptions of depression in patients with advanced cancer: a qualitative study.


OBJECTIVE Depression is a serious issue for cancer patients, resulting in impaired quality of life and probably shorter survival. However, many cancer patients with depression are not treated because of the difficulties in identifying depression within this population. Our study aimed to examine caregivers' perceptions of depression among advanced cancer patients. METHOD This qualitative study employed semistructured interviews, and we analyzed data using grounded theory and qualitative methods. We recruited caregivers from our palliative care unit (PCU) at an academic medical center. RESULTS We interviewed a total of 15 caregivers. Cancer patients' caregivers had a good theoretical knowledge of depression but also acknowledged that, in the context of cancer and because of their relationship with the patient, identification of depressive symptoms could be challenging. They considered themselves as partners in the patient's care with a supportive role. However, by assuming the role of partner in patient care, caregivers exposed themselves to emotional difficulties and an increased need for support and information. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS Our results suggest a significant impact of depression in advanced cancer caregivers, and it is therefore crucial that healthcare professionals develop educational programs targeting cancer patients' families as well as specific interventions to minimize the impact of the burden of patient care on caregivers.

DOI: 10.1017/S1478951513001223

Cite this paper

@article{Rhondali2015FamilyCP, title={Family caregivers' perceptions of depression in patients with advanced cancer: a qualitative study.}, author={Wadih Rhondali and Anne Chirac and Ang{\'e}lique Laurent and J P Terra and Maril{\`e}ne Filbet}, journal={Palliative & supportive care}, year={2015}, volume={13 3}, pages={443-50} }