Skip to main content

Comparative Analysis of Quality of Life and Attachment Style among Cancer and Dementia Informal Caregivers

Abstract

To record and compare the quality of life and attachment style of dementia and cancer caregivers. This is a comparative prospective cross sectional study. Participants were 45 caregivers of patients with cancer and 45 caregivers of patients with dementia. The study was conducted at a University Hospital and from a Day Centre of Alzheimer Disease and related disorders Association in Athens. Quality of caregivers’ life was measured by the Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36) and caregivers’ attachment was evaluated by the Experience in Close Relationships—Short Form (ECR). Caregivers’ age (cancer caregivers’ age Mean = 52.4 and SD ± 12.21, dementia caregivers’ age Mean = 58.4 and SD ± 12.8) differed significantly across diagnostic groups (p < 0.005). Dementia patients were older than cancer patients (dementia patients’ age Mean = 76.8, cancer patients’ age Mean = 65, p < 0.001). Statistically significant difference was found between two groups regarding the duration of the disease. The duration of disease in dementia patients (Mean = 3.14 years) was significantly longer (p = 0.014) than in cancer patients (Mean = 1.23 years). Subscale scores in both instruments (SF-36 and ECR), showed no statistically significant differentiation. Our data showed no statistically significant differentiation in any subscale between cancer and dementia caregivers. However, both caregiver groups noticed remarkably low levels of mental health.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

REFERENCES

  1. Andreakou, Μ., Papadopoulos, Α., Panagiotakos, D., and Niakas, D., Assessment of health-related quality of life for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients, Int. J. Alzheimer’s Dis., 2016, vol. 2016, pp. 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9213968

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Argimon, J., Limon, E., Vila, E., and Cabezas, E., Health-related quality of life in carers of patients with dementia, Family. Pract., 2004, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 454–457.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Aydogan, U., Doganer, Y., Komurcu, S., et al., Coping attitudes of cancer patients and their caregivers and quality of life of caregivers, Indian J. Palliat. Care, 2016, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 150–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Braun, M., Mikulincer, M., Rydall, A., et al., Hidden morbidity in cancer: spouse caregivers, J. Clin. Oncol., 2007, vol. 25, no. 30, pp. 4829–4834.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Breitbart, W. and Jacobsen, P.B., Psychiatric symptom management in terminal care, Clin. Geriatr. Med., 1996, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 329–347.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Brennan, K.A., Clark, C.L., and Shaver, P.R., Self-report measurement of adult attachment: an integrative overview, in Attachment Theory and Close Relationships, Simpson, J.A. and Rholes, W.S., Eds., The Guilford Press, 1998, pp. 46–76.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Brodaty, H. and Hadzi-Pavlovic, D., Psychosocial effects on carers of living with persons with dementia, Aust. N. Z. J. Psychiatry, 1990, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 351–361.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Buck, D., Gregson, B., and Bamford, C., Psychological morbidity among informal caregivers of older people: a 2-year follow up study, Psychol. Med., 2000, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 943–955.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Feeney, B.C. and Collins, N.L., Predictors of caregiving in adult intimate relationships: an attachment theoretical perspective, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 2001, vol. 80, no. 6, pp. 972–994.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Feeney, J.A. and Hohaus, L., Attachment and spousal caregiving, Pers. Relat., 2001, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 21–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Gaugler, J., Nader, H., Linder, J., et al., Cancer caregiving and subjective stress: a multi-site, multi-dimensional analysis, Psycho-Oncol., 2005, vol. 14, no. 19, pp. 771–785.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Goldstein, N.E., Concato, J., and Fried, T.R., Factors associated with caregiver burden among caregivers of terminally ill patients with cancer, J. Palliat. Care, 2003, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 38–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Haley, W., LaMonde, L., Han, B., et al., Family caregiving in hospice: effects on psychological and health functioning among spousal caregivers of hospice patients with lung cancer or dementia, Hospice J., 2001, vol. 14, pp. 1–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Harding, R., Wei, G., Jackson, D., et al., Comparative analysis of informal caregiver burden in advanced cancer, dementia, and acquired brain injury, J. Pain. Symptom. Manage., 2015, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 445–452.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kallergis, C., Approaching the family of a patient with cancer within the liaison psychiatry, Medical. Graphics, 2008, pp. 214–223.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Kim, Y., Carver, C.S., Deci, E.L., and Kasser, T., Adult attachment and psychological well-being in cancer caregivers: the mediational role of spouses’ motives for caregiving, Health Psychol., 2008, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. S144–S154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Lauren, C., Vanderwerker, R.E., Laff, N.S., et al., Psychiatric disorders and mental health service use among caregivers of advanced cancer patients, J. Oncol., 2005, vol. 23, no. 28, pp. 6899–6907.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Lynda, A.A., Edwards, V.J., Pearson, W.S., et al., Adult caregivers in the United States: characteristics and differences in well-being, by caregiver age and caregiving status, Prevent. Chron. Dis., 2013, vol. 10, p. E135.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Margioti, E., Vagenas, V., Sakka, O., et al., Alzheimer patients’ caregivers survey in Greece, Alzheimer Dementia J. Alzheimers’ Assoc., 2009, pp. 7–13.

  20. Maureas, M., Soldatos, K., and Stefanis, K., ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioral disorders, Beta, 1997, pp. 271–278.

  21. Mikulincer, M., Gillath, O., Halevy, V., et al., Attachment theory and reactions to others’ needs: evidence that activation of the sense of attachment security promotes empathic responses, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 2001, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 1205–1224.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. National Statistical Service of Greece. Statistics Natural Movement of the Population of Greece, in Psychological Support in Couples with Cancer, Kayser, K. and Scott, J., Eds., Field, 2010, pp. 14–27.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Nijboer, C., Triemstra, M., Tempelaar, R., et al., Determinants of caregiving experiences and mental health of partners of cancer patients, Cancer, 1999, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 577–588.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Oken, M.M., Creech, R.H., Tormey, D.C., et al., Toxicity and response criteria of the eastern cooperative oncology group, Am. J. Clin. Oncol., 1982, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 649–655.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Pappa, E., Kontodimopoulos, N., and Niakas, D., Validating and norming of the Greek SF-36 health survey, Qual. Life Res., 2005, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 1433–1438.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Pariante, C.M., Given, B., Given, C., et al., Physical functioning of elderly cancer patients prior to diagnosis and following initial treatment, Nurs. Res., 2001, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 222–232.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Pellegrino, R., Formica, V., Portarena, I., et al., Caregiver distress in the family phases of cancer, Anticancer. Res., 2010, vol. 30, no. 11, pp. 4657–4663.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Sarris, M., Sociology of Health and Quality of Life, Athens: Papazisis, 2001.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Sadik, K. and Wilcock, G., The increasing burden of Alzheimer disease, Alzheimer Dis. Assoc. Disord., 2003, vol. 17, pp. 75–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Sharon, M., Clare, L., and Whitaker, C., Attachment representations in people with dementia and their caregivers: implications for well-being within the dyad, Aging Mental Health, 2012, vol. 16, pp. 845–854.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Shaver, P.R. and Mikulincer, M., Dialogue on adult attachment: diversity and integration, Attach. Hum. Dev., 2002, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 243–257.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Tacon, A.M., Attachment and cancer: a conceptual integration, Integr. Cancer Ther., 2002, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 371–381.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Tsilika, E., Parpa, E., Galanopoulou, N., et al., Attachment orientations of Greek cancer patients in palliative care. A validation study of the experiences in close relationships scale (ECT-M16), J. Buon., 2016, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 1005–1012.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Tsolaki, M., Alzheimer’s disease: what happens after the diagnosis? Practical guide for patients with dementia and their families/caregivers, Mendor, 2006, pp. 113–146.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Tsolaki, M., Epidemiology of dementia, Brain, 1996, vol. 33, pp. 164–177.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Vlachogianni, A., Potamianou, Z., Panagiotou, M., Andrianaki, A., and Efthymiou, A., The life after the care, support manual former caregiver, After Life Care, 2009, pp. 4–7.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Weitzner, M., McMillan, S., and Jacobsen, P., Family caregiver quality of life: differences between curative and palliative cancer treatment settings, J. Pain. Symptom. Manage., 1999, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 418–428.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Westmaas, J.L. and Silver, R.C., The role of attachment in responses to victims of life crises, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 2001, vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 425–438.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to K. Mystakidou.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. 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.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Papageorgiou, N., Zygogianni, A., Parpa, E. et al. Comparative Analysis of Quality of Life and Attachment Style among Cancer and Dementia Informal Caregivers. Adv Gerontol 12, 194–199 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1134/S2079057022020151

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1134/S2079057022020151

Keywords:

  • cancer
  • dementia
  • caregivers