Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 2799–2807 | Cite as

Prevalence and predictors of anxiety and depression among family caregivers of cancer patients: a nationwide survey of patient–family caregiver dyads in Korea

  • Boyoung Park
  • So Young Kim
  • Ji-Yeon Shin
  • Robert W. Sanson-Fisher
  • Dong Wook Shin
  • Juhee Cho
  • Jong-Hyock ParkEmail author
Original Article



This study aimed to identify the prevalence and predictors of anxiety and depression among family caregivers of patients with cancer in Korea.


A national, multicenter, cross-sectional survey was conducted with 897 family caregivers. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess anxiety and depression in patient–family caregiver dyads.


The prevalence of anxiety in family caregivers was 38.1 %:20.3 % reported mild anxiety, 13.3 % reported moderate anxiety, and 4.6 % reported severe anxiety. The prevalence of depression was 82.2 %:40.4 % reported mild depression, 25.5 % reported moderate depression, and 16.3 % reported severe depression. Family caregivers who were younger, were caring for male patients, or had a low quality of life (QOL) in relation to three of the variables measured in the Korean Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC-K): burden, disturbance, and financial concerns reported increased anxiety. Becoming unemployed during caregiving, being the spouse of a patient and having low QOL in relation to three of the variables measured by the CQOLC-K: burden, disturbance, and positive adaptation were associated with depression among family caregivers. The predictive validity of the selected variables were 0.861 (95 % CI: 0.844–0.892) for anxiety and 0.794 (95 % CI: 0.751–0.828) for depression.


Family caregivers of patients with cancer experienced high levels of anxiety and depression. Socio-demographic factors and QOL were predictors of anxiety and depression in family caregivers.


Family caregivers Anxiety Depression Cancer Oncology 



This study was supported from the National Cancer Center, Korea (Grant No. 1210150–1), a grant of the National R&D Program for Cancer Control (Grant No. 1020010), and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea (administrative support)

Declaration of conflicting interests

The author(s) declared no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boyoung Park
    • 1
  • So Young Kim
    • 1
  • Ji-Yeon Shin
    • 1
  • Robert W. Sanson-Fisher
    • 2
  • Dong Wook Shin
    • 3
  • Juhee Cho
    • 4
  • Jong-Hyock Park
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.National Cancer Control InstituteNational Cancer CenterGoyangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Priority Research Centre for Health BehaviourUniversity of Newcastle & Hunter Medical Research InstituteNew South WalesAustralia
  3. 3.Seoul National University Hospital and Seoul National University Cancer HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Health Science and TechnologySchool of Medicine & SAHIST, Sungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  5. 5.Division of Cancer Policy and ManagementNational Cancer Control Research Institute, National Cancer CenterGoyang-siSouth Korea

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