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Title: Psychological morbidity in family caregivers of people living with terminal cancer: Prevalence and predictors
Authors: Areia, Neide P. 
Fonseca, Gabriela
Major, Sofia de Oliveira 
Relvas, Ana P. 
Keywords: Psychological morbidity; Cancer; Family caregivers; Palliative care; Risk factors
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/SFRH/SFRH/BD/86178/2012/PT 
Serial title, monograph or event: Palliative and Supportive Care
Volume: 17
Issue: 3
Abstract: Objective. The issues surrounding a patient's terminal phase of cancer and the imminent death of the individual represent a major family crisis affecting all its members. The goal of this study was to assess the prevalence of psychological morbidity in family caregivers of persons with terminal cancer in terms of psychological distress, depression, anxiety, somatization, and complicated anticipatory grief, and to determine which factors may influence these responses. Method. One hundred and twelve family caregivers of individuals with terminal cancer completed an assessment protocol comprising the Brief Symptom Inventory (depression, anxiety, somatization, and a computed score for global distress), the Marwit-Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory - Short Form (anticipatory grief), the Family Inventory of Needs (importance and satisfaction of needs), and the Systemic Clinical Outcome Routine Evaluation -15 (family functioning). Prevalence of psychological morbidity was determined through descriptive and frequency statistics. Predictors of psychological morbidity were ascertained through structural equation modelling methods. Result. Regarding the prevalence of psychological morbidity in family caregivers, 66.1% reported high levels of distress, 68.8% showed high risk of depression, 72.3% showed high risk of anxiety, 50.9% reported high levels of somatization, and 25.9% showed high risk of complicated anticipatory grief. It was found that the predictors of age, gender, relationship to the family member with terminal cancer, the caregiving role played (i.e., primary vs. nonprimary), the satisfaction of needs by healthcare professionals, and family functioning play an important role in terms of one’s risk of developing psychological morbidity. Significance of results. This study revealed an alarming prevalence of psychological morbidity in family caregivers of individuals living with terminal cancer, making it crucial to move forward from a patient-centered approach to a family-centrad approach to reduce the risk of family maladjustment when facing the imminent death of a family member and to prevent postdeath unadjusted responses.
ISSN: 1478-9515
DOI: 10.1017/S1478951518000044
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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