Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2387–2394 | Cite as

Factors associated with depressive symptoms in cancer family caregivers of patients receiving chemotherapy

  • Anna-leila WilliamsEmail author
  • Alison J. Holmes Tisch
  • Jane Dixon
  • Ruth McCorkle
Original Article


As cancer in the USA transitions to a disease trajectory similar to other chronic illnesses, care has moved to outpatient settings where patients and their families are responsible for day-to-day management and treatment-related side effects [1]. The family member or friend who assumes the role of caregiver has little opportunity to acclimate to their new responsibilities, personal response to the diagnosis, or the healthcare system [2]. The caregiver’s focus and the primary focus of treatment is the patient [3, 4].

Our understanding of cancer family caregivers’ needs and consequences has grown in recent years as more research has been directed toward this population [5, 6]. The physical and psychological impact of cancer family caregiving is significant with many associated negative outcomes including depression, anxiety, decreased quality of life, fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain, and decline in health status [7, 8, 9, 10]. In some studies, cancer family caregivers were...


Cancer family caregivers Depression Chemotherapy 



The parent study was supported by the National Institute of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (F31AT003535; PI Williams). We greatly appreciate biostatistical support provided by Kristopher Fennie, Ph.D.

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. The authors have full control of all primary data and agree to allow Supportive Care in Cancer to review their data upon request.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-leila Williams
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alison J. Holmes Tisch
    • 2
  • Jane Dixon
    • 2
  • Ruth McCorkle
    • 2
  1. 1.Frank H. Netter MD School of MedicineQuinnipiac UniversityHamdenUSA
  2. 2.School of NursingYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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