Ann Surg Treat Res.  2021 Aug;101(2):69-78. 10.4174/astr.2021.101.2.69.

Unmet needs and quality of life of caregivers of Korean breast cancer survivors: a cross-sectional study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Surgery, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea
  • 5Breast Cancer Center, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 6Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea
  • 7Department of Preventive Medicine, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea
  • 8Department of Surgery, Research Institute of Clinical Medicine, Jeonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonbuk National University and Biomedical Research Institute, Jeonju, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
As the survival rates of cancer patients have been increasing due to early diagnosis and technological advances in treatment, their caregiver burden has also emerged as an important issue. In view of this situation, this study aims to investigate the unmet needs and quality of life of caregivers of Korean breast cancer survivors.
Methods
A multicenter cross-sectional interview survey was performed among 160 caregivers of Korean breast cancer survivors. Caregivers who gave written informed consent to participate completed the Comprehensive Needs Assessment Tool for Cancer Caregivers and EuroQol-5 Dimensions.
Results
The mean age of the caregivers was 46.4 years, 44.4% (71 of 160) were spouses of patients, and 52.5% (84 of 160) were personally taking care of cancer survivors. Unmet needs were highest in the ‘healthcare staff’ domain and the item with the highest level of unmet needs was ‘needed information about the current status of the patient’s illness and its future courses.’ Poorer quality of life was closely related to higher levels of unmet needs. In multiple regression analysis, older age, employment, the presence of religion, and higher levels of stress and despair in daily life were associated with higher levels of unmet needs.
Conclusion
The most prevalent unmet need in Korean breast cancer caregivers was found in the ‘healthcare staff’ domain, and their quality of life was closely related to unmet needs. Therefore, healthcare staff is required to make efforts to accurately identify breast cancer caregivers vulnerable in terms of unmet needs and address their unmet needs.

Keyword

Breast neoplasms; Caregivers; Needs; Quality of life
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