Burden and happiness in head and neck cancer carers: the role of supportive care needs
- 793 Downloads
Our study aimed to investigate the relationship between unmet supportive care needs and carer burden and happiness, in head and neck cancer (HNC).
Two hundred eighty-five HNC informal carers were sent a postal questionnaire between January and June 2014, which included the supportive care needs survey for partners and caregivers of cancer survivors (SCNS-P&C) and the CarerQol, which assesses burden and happiness. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the association of (i) carer characteristics, (ii) carer situation, and (iii) unmet supportive care needs, with carer burden and happiness
One hundred ninety-seven carers completed the questionnaire (response rate = 69 %), 180 of whom were included in the analysis. The majority were female (76 %), not in paid employment (68 %) and caring for their spouse (67 %). On average, carers reported relatively low levels of burden and relatively high levels of happiness. Carer factors explained 42 % of variance in levels of burden and 24 % of variance in levels of happiness. Healthcare service needs were associated with carer burden (β = .28, p = .04), while psychological needs (β = −.38, p = .028), health care service needs (β = −.30, p = .049), information needs (β = .29, p = .028), carer comorbidity (β = −.18, p = .030), and gender (β = −.16, p = .045) were associated with happiness.
Our results indicate that different aspects of carer characteristics and unmet needs are associated with carer burden and happiness. Efforts directed at reducing unmet healthcare service needs in particular are merited given their associations with both aspects of carer quality of life.
KeywordsUnmet needs Carer burden Quality of life Head and neck cancer carer burden Happiness
We would like to thank the health professionals involved in this project for facilitating the survivor survey and supporting the local ethics applications. We also appreciate the advice and helpful comments provided by Dr. Rachael Gooberman-Hill.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Funding for this study was supplied by the Health Research Board (HRA/2009/262; HRA/2009/262/R).
- 7.Chen SC, Chiou SC, Yu CJ, Lee YH, Liao WY, Hsieh PY, Jhang SY, Lai YH (2016) The unmet supportive care needs—what advanced lung cancer patients’ caregivers need and related factors. Support Care CancerGoogle Scholar
- 10.Sklenarova H, Krumpelmann A, Haun MW, Friederich HC, Huber J, Thomas M, Winkler EC, Herzog W, Hartmann M (2015) When do we need to care about the caregiver? Supportive care needs, anxiety, and depression among informal caregivers of patients with cancer and cancer survivors. Cancer 121:1513–1519CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 14.Butow PN, Price MA, Bell ML, Webb PM, deFazio A, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Quality Of Life Study Investigators, Friedlander M. (2014) Caring for women with ovarian cancer in the last year of life: a longitudinal study of caregiver quality of life, distress and unmet needs. Gynecol Oncol 132: 690–697.Google Scholar
- 19.Tay L, Kuykendall L, Diener E (2015) Satisfaction and happiness—the bright side of quality of life. In global handbook of quality of life. Netherlands, SpringerGoogle Scholar
- 27.Hoefman RJ, Van Exel NJA, Brouwer WBF (2013) iMTA valuation of informal care questionnaire. http://www.bmg.eur.nl/fileadmin/ASSETS/bmg/english/iMTA/iVICQ/Version_1.1/iVICQ_UK_version_1.1.pdf. Accessed 29th Jan 2015
- 29.Hoefman RJ, van Exel J, Brouwer WB (2013) Measuring the impact of caregiving on informal carers: a construct validation study of the CarerQol instrument. Health Qual Life Outcomes 11(173). doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-11-173
- 30.Lutomski JE, van Exel NJ, Kempen GI, Moll van Charante EP, den Elzen WP, Jansen AP, Krabbe PF, Steunenberg B, Steyerberg EW, Olde Rikkert MG, Melis RJ (2015) Validation of the care-related quality of life instrument in different study settings: findings from the older persons and informal caregivers survey minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS). Qual Life Res 24:1281–1293CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 31.Tabachnik BG, Fidell LS (2014) Using multivariate statistics, 7th edn. Boston, Pearson EducationGoogle Scholar
- 40.European Quality of Life Surveys. European Quality of Life Survey (2012). http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/surveys/european-quality-of-life-surveys-eqls/european-quality-of-life-survey-2012. Accessed 10 April 2015.
- 46.Norwood G. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The Truth Vectors (Part I). http://www.deepermind.com/20maslow.htm. Accessed Oct 2015