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Empowering caregivers in the radiotherapy process: the results of a randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile-assisted empowerment program developed specifically for caregivers of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Methods

In this study, seventy-four individuals who gave care for cancer patients that received radiotherapy between September 2019 and May 2020 were randomized to receive a mobile-assisted empowerment program or standard care. The mobile-assisted empowerment program comprised of education and information related to the radiotherapy process, videos, activities, and question-and-answer modules to support caregivers during the radiotherapy process. Outcome measures were collected at baseline (day 1 of radiotherapy) and on day 21 and included caregiver demographics, distress, quality of life, and coping style using validated questionnaires.

Results

Compared with baseline, individuals’ mean scores of distress were lower in the empowerment group than the control group (p < 0.001). General quality of life and sub-dimension mean scores were higher in the empowerment group than the control group (p ≤ 0.05). There was no difference in the coping style average scores (p ≥ 0.05) between the two groups.

Conclusions

This study supports the findings that a mobile-supported empowerment program reduced the level of caregiver distress and increased quality of life during their loved one’s treatment with radiotherapy.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The dataset(s) supporting the conclusions of this article is (are) available and will be provided by the authors upon request.

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Acknowledgement

This project was conducted by the Turkish Oncology Nursing Society research working group. We acknowledge of the Turkish Oncology Nursing Society’s support.

Funding

This project was funded by the Vehbi Koç Foundation Nursing Fund Project Support Program (Project Number 2019.1.24).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Neşe Uysal.

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Conflict interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Ethics Committee (2018-159). Written permission was obtained from the institution where this research was conducted. Surveys were applied to caregivers who submitted their informed written consent and volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were informed that the information collected in this research would remain confidential. This research was carried out per the Helsinki Declaration Principles.

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Uysal, N., Bağçivan, G., Özkaraman, A. et al. Empowering caregivers in the radiotherapy process: the results of a randomized controlled trial. Support Care Cancer 29, 2395–2404 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05743-z

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Keywords

  • Caregiver
  • Empower
  • Mobile application
  • Radiotherapy