Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 977–986 | Cite as

A survey of the supportive care needs of informal caregivers of adult bone marrow transplant patients

  • J. Armoogum
  • A. Richardson
  • J. Armes
Original Article



This study aims to describe the supportive care needs of informal caregivers (ICG) of adult bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients. In addition, we explored relationships between levels of unmet need, psychological morbidity and patient and ICG characteristics.

Methods and sample

We invited patients within 24 months of BMT to participate in a cross-sectional survey. Consenting patients asked their ICG to complete and return the questionnaire booklet. Measures included the Supportive Care Needs Survey Partners and Carers and General Health Questionnaire.

Key results

Two hundred patients were approached, and 98 completed questionnaires were received (response rate = 49 %). We found high unmet need and psychological morbidity among ICGs and an association between ICG unmet need and psychological morbidity. Patient functioning, particularly anxiety and depression, sexual dysfunction and resumption of usual activities impacted on ICG unmet need and psychological morbidity. No associations were found between ICG unmet need and psychological morbidity and the following variables: type of BMT, time from BMT, ICG gender, number of dependents and patient age.


ICG of BMT patients have high levels of unmet need and psychological morbidity in the months that follow a BMT. This highlights the importance of thorough needs assessment to ensure limited resources are targeted to those most in need.


BMT Informal caregivers Carers Supportive care needs 



The author would like to thank Professor Girgis and her team, especially Dr Sylvie Lambert, for allowing the use of the SCNS-P&C whilst it was still in development and Dr Peter Milligan for statistical advice.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Life SciencesUniversity of The West of EnglandBristolUK
  2. 2.Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and MidwiferyKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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