Distressed Partners and Caregivers Do Not Recover Easily: Adjustment Trajectories Among Partners and Caregivers of Cancer Survivors
- 637 Downloads
Although a number of cross-sectional studies document the distress experienced by partners and caregivers of cancer survivors, few have considered their potential differential patterns of adjustment over time.
Identify distinct trajectories of anxiety and depression among partners and caregivers of cancer survivors and predictors of these trajectories.
Participants completed a survey to examine the impact of caring for, or living with, a cancer survivor at 6, 12, and 24 months post-survivor diagnosis. Anxiety and depression were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (N anxiety = 510; N depression = 511).
Anxiety trajectories included: no anxiety (15.1% scored <3; 37.8% scored 3–5); chronic, borderline anxiety (33.2%); and chronic, clinical anxiety (13.9%). The depression trajectories were: no depression (38.9% scored <2; 31.5% scored around 3); a sustained score of 7 (25.5%); and chronic, clinical depression (4.1%). Variables associated with the trajectories included most of the psychosocial variables.
Findings highlight that most caregivers maintained their baseline level of distress, which is particularly concerning for participants reporting chronic anxiety or depression.
KeywordsAnxiety Depression Longitudinal study Caregivers Trajectories Psychological adjustment
The Partners and Caregivers Study was supported by the Cancer Council NSW and received infrastructure support from the Honda Foundation and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI). Also, Dr. Lambert is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship (APP1012869) and Prof. Girgis by a Cancer Institute New South Wales Grant. Our sincere thanks go to the caregivers who provided the survey data. We are also grateful to Sandra Dowley, Fiona Stacey, Raelene Monahan, and Alexander Cameron for their support of the Partners and Caregivers Study.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose
- 1.Girgis A, Lambert SD. Caregivers of cancer survivors: The state of the field. Cancer Forum. 2009;33:167-171.Google Scholar
- 7.Lambert S, Girgis A, Lecathelinais C, Stacey F. (2012) Walking a mile in their shoes: Anxiety and depression among caregivers of cancer survivors at six and 12 months post-diagnosis. Support Care in Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1495-7.
- 12.Kurtz M, Kurtz JC, Given C, Given B. Depression and physical health among family caregivers of geriatric patients with cancer—A longitudinal view. Med Sci Monit. 2004;10:447-456.Google Scholar
- 13.Choi C-W, Stone R, Kim K, et al. Group-based trajectory modeling of caregiver psychological distress over time. Ann Behav Med. 2012; doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9371-8.
- 14.Lazarus R, Folkman S. Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer Publishing Company Inc; 1984.Google Scholar
- 17.Carter PA, Acton GJ. Personality and coping: Predictors of depression and sleep problems among caregivers of individuals who have cancer. J Gerontol Nurs. 2006;32:9.Google Scholar
- 21.Thomas C, Morris S, Soothill K, McIllmurray M, Francis B, Harman J. What are the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and their main carers? Available at http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/apsocsci/cancer/complete. Accessibility verified March 10, 2009.
- 25.Ware JE, Kosinski M, Turner-Bowker DM, Gandeck B. User’s manual for the SF-12v2 TM health survey with a supplement documenting SF-12 R health survey Lincoln. RI: QualityMetric Incorporated; 2002.Google Scholar
- 39.McDowell ME, Occhipinti S, Ferguson M, Dunn J, Chambers SK. Predictors of change in unmet supportive care needs in cancer. Psychooncology. 2009;19:508-516.Google Scholar
- 44.Hosmer D, Lemeshow S. Applied logistic regression. New York: Wiley; 1989.Google Scholar
- 46.Lambert SD, Harrison JD, Smith E, et al. The unmet needs of partners and caregivers of adults diagnosed with cancer: A systematic review. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. Submitted.Google Scholar